Why Erasmus matters
Broadening perspectives on other healthcare systems and approaches to woman-centred care can only benefit the UK's midwifery workforce, Chloe Coates writes
Students consider embarking on the Erasmus+ programme for a variety of reasons. While some students view it as an opportunity for an extended holiday, others embrace it is an experience to be immersed in a different culture and an opportunity to explore differing healthcare systems and provision. The world in which we live is continually evolving and, as midwives, we need to change with it.
As society wakes up to the injustices faced by people of colour, we need to train a generation of midwives who are not scared to face this head on. Similarly, the COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the fact that healthcare is a global issue and to make a real difference, we need to work together as an international community. Erasmus+ can lay the foundations for this, equipping students with the ability to consider the bigger picture and challenge the status quo.
It is well established that diversity is an issue within midwifery practice. The most recent MBRRACE report stated that black women are five times more likely to die and Asian women are almost twice as likely to die in pregnancy or during the postpartum period in comparison to women who identify as white British (Knight et al, 2019). This is a painful reality that needs to be addressed. These findings are unacceptable for a nation with a healthcare system as respected as the NHS.
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