The development of midwifery education in Brunei Darussalam
This article reviews and explores midwifery education in Brunei Darussalam (henceforth Brunei), including the rationale and the factors influencing its development. There were two phases of development of midwifery education in Brunei; pre- and post-World War II. Midwifery education was established as a response to the increase in maternal and infant mortality in Brunei, believed to result from the unsafe and risky practices of traditional midwives. The development of midwifery education in Brunei was largely influenced by British midwifery, and international organisations, such as the World Health Organization and the International Confederation of Midwives.
The contemporary definition of a midwife is greatly influenced by international organisations. In 1972, the International Confederation of Midwives' (ICM) definition of a midwife was formally accepted by other international organisations, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Federation of Gynaecologists and Obstetricians (FIGO). The definition was universal and reflected that a midwife is required to acquire specific education to be adequately prepared to become, and legally practise as a midwife (ICM, 2014a). However, the reality is that midwifery preparation differs from one country to another. The content of midwifery training often reflects the midwives' roles and tasks in the countries where they practise, the needs of women they serve (Marland and Rafferty, 2004) and the social perception and definition of childbirth in that country (Davis-Floyd and Jenkins, 2005), rather than a universal international definition. Therefore, although there are some similarities in the development of midwifery education from one country to another, the unique needs of women for childbirth as well as the social and political climates in different countries mean differences in the provision of midwifery education are necessary.
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