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Exploring community midwives' perceptions of their work experience after deployment in the rural areas of Chitral, Pakistan

02 June 2017
Volume 25 · Issue 6



To explore the perceptions of community midwives about their work experiences after deployment in the rural settings of Chitral, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.


A qualitative descriptive approach was used, conducting in-depth semi-structured interviews with 13 community midwives.


The three major themes that emerged from the analysis of the data were: (1) rural community midwives' perceptions of their role and competencies, (2) factors facilitating and hindering the rural community midwives' ability to function, and (3) continuation of community midwives' services in the future.


The study findings highlighted the factors that empower and obstruct community midwives in providing services in rural areas. The majority of the community midwives felt empowered because of their increased earning capacity and enhanced competencies in performing their roles. However, some of them shared challenges in terms of socio-cultural and financial constraints. These findings have important implications for midwives working in rural areas.

Globally, the maternal mortality rate and neonatal mortality rate remain persistently high (World Bank, 2015). Globally, there are 216 maternal deaths per 10 000 live births every year. In South Asia, this rate is estimated as 180 maternal deaths per 100 000 live births, whereas in Pakistan maternal mortality rate estimates are 178 maternal deaths per 100 000 live births. Globally, the neonatal mortality rate is estimated as 19 deaths per 1000 live births, whereas in Pakistan it is estimated to be 46 deaths per 1000 live births (World Health Organization (WHO), 2015). The Sustainable Development Goals for 2016–2030 highlight the urgent need to work in economic, social and environmental dimensions, with 17 goals and 169 targets. The Sustainable Development Goals are hoped to be achieved over the next 15 years to tackle pressing challenges around the world (United Nations, 2015). According to Sustainable Development Goal 3, by 2030 the global maternal mortality rate should be reduced to less than 70 per 100 000 live births and the neonatal mortality rate to 12 per 1000 live births (United Nations, 2015).

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