Happy International Day of the Midwife! We hope you’ve been able to take time today to celebrate a midwife and the amazing work they do every day to protect and uphold women and newborn health. This is also our first blog as the PUSH campaign and we hope to use these more to give our supporters insight into how the campaign is progressing and how you can get involved.
We’re excited today to be introducing our two new amazing regional advocacy and community support coordinators and we’re delighted to introduce them to you today and tell you a little bit about their role in the PUSH campaign.
Although the PUSH campaign will operate globally, we acknowledge that each country and region will need tailored interventions to ensure impact can be made and that our goals of reducing maternal and neonatal mortality will be met. We also acknowledge that some countries will need more urgent interventions so it’s important to make this choice based on evidence from people working on the ground on these issues.
The regional coordinators - one for the East African region and one for the South Asian region - will be instrumental in helping us to identify which countries we should be focusing on within the region and the best path forward for success in terms of advocacy. Their work will focus around three main areas: initial stakeholder mapping, creating and executing engagement strategies with stakeholders, and socialising the campaign throughout the region. This approach will allow us to have a deeper understanding of the politico-economic factors at play in each country, understand the traditional and non-traditional stakeholders who have a stake in midwifery and maternal health, and to understand what are the best communications and advocacy tactics that will allow the campaign to flourish in each region.
We’re so excited to have two amazing individuals onboard who have a wealth of experience in maternal health and who, importantly, understand the complexities and sensitivities of the regions we are working in.
So, without further ado, let us introduce them…
Neha’s passion for midwifery and the significant contribution midwives can bring to maternal health landscapes is demonstrated in her varied and vast experience in the maternal and reproductive health sector. For 14 years, Neha has provided clinical support to women and birthing persons internationally as a formally trained midwife, childbirth educator, and providing financial support through her own organization, Mama Baby Fund, and advocating for policy reform as a Strategic Advisor for AmplifyChange across South Asia. Neha has received a Heroines of Health award for her work and is already part of the ICM family as an alumni of the Young Midwifery Leader Programme.
When Neha is not busy PUSHing for midwives, she spends quality time at home with her 2 rescue dogs and 4 cats!
Instagram: @nehamanks / @mamababyfund
Having developed a passion for midwifery and maternal rights during law school and after becoming a mother of 2 herself, Patricia brings a unique perspective through her background in law and her own lived experience of motherhood to her work in advocacy and policy reform in Kenya.
Patricia has worked on the ground with local and international organisations such as KMET Kenya and the International Women’s Health Coalition. Through these collaborations, she has been an instrumental voice in key policy moments such as the 2019 UN High-level meeting on Universal Health Coverage, CSW65, and the drafting of the Kisumu Sexual Gender-based Violence Policy. Her dedication to helping others has led to her joining the PUSH campaign, where she hopes to utilise her years of practical experience working with midwives and strategic insight from designing maternal health programs to achieve policy reform outcomes that will translate to improved standard of care for women and birthing individuals, but also the welfare of service providers.
To keep up-to-date with all of the work Patricia and Neha will be doing, sign up for our newsletter: https://www.pushcampaign.org/#joinus