Midwifery has always been an independent profession with its own responsibilities. Midwives provide basic essential services that are not readily available through any other healthcare system.
The crucial need for skilled attendant during a woman’s labor is widely acknowledged. Regarding high maternal mortality in Pakistan, midwives can be a great help in remote areas as they can run the antenatal clinics and maternity homes independently if trained well.
The importance of midwives has now been recognized throughout the world. Midwives have played an important role in decreasing the ratio of death of women during pregnancy and child birth. After getting diploma of midwifery, a midwife can run her own maternity clinic independently by abiding all the rules and regulations prescribed in this regard by the Pakistan Nursing Council. She can prescribe medicine in the absence of a doctor to a woman during pregnancy and take care of her during these days. She can provide first aid to a patient until the proper doctor (gynecologist) arrives. She can be a member of the team of gynecologists and assist them in the labor room and operation theatre.
The midwife’s role is important because she guides and helps a woman from the first day of her pregnancy to the birth of her child. The help and support of a midwife becomes more productive because of a feeling of security and joy for the woman, her family, and those around her.
Atia School of Midwifery was initially established at Atia General Hospital and started training students in 2000, after the realization that while Pakistan has many skilled physicians and surgeons, good nursing care is still difficult to find. The required facilities as laid down by the Pakistan Nursing Council for the Midwifery Diploma Program were already available at Atia General Hospital.
The objective of the program was to produce trained and competent midwives who could provide systemic midwifery services with confidence and passion to underprivileged women in their communities to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity in Pakistan. Our vision is to help young females do graduation and post-graduation in nursing, midwifery and paramedical sciences in Pakistan. The nursing profession should enjoy respect in the community.
The Pakistan Nursing Council, Islamabad inspected Atia School of Midwifery and Atia General Hospital in the 2006 by sending a team of subject experts, teachers and senior nursing professionals, headed by the Registrar of the Pakistan Nursing Council. This team awarded recognition to the Atia School of Midwifery after assessing the facilities available and the standard of teaching.
Upto 2012, every year 25 girls were trained as midwives. However from 2013, 50 girls are trained and awarded Diploma of Midwifery after passing an examination (theory and practical) conducted by the Sindh Nurses Examination Board. The training is provided under the guidelines and curriculum designed by the Pakistan Nursing Council, Islamabad for Community Midwives. The course is taught over 18 months, followed by a 6-month house job.
Students are trained to conduct deliveries, under the supervision of senior doctors at Atia General Hospital and Koohi Goth Hospital. On completion of successful training, they become capable of conducting deliveries independently. They provide guidance to pregnant women about antenatal and postnatal care.
Females, married or unmarried, citizens of Pakistan between the age group of 18-40 years, who have passed their Matriculation or its equivalent examination (Science or Arts) and secured at least 40% marks are eligible to apply for the midwifery course.
Procedure of admission: The candidate must pass an aptitude test. Successful candidate are called for an interview. Admissions are granted on merit basis.
Medical Certificate: Successful candidates shall undergo a medical examination which is done at the institution. Admission depends on having been declared medically fit by the medical officer.
Medium of Instruction: Media of instruction and languages of examination are English and Urdu.
Residence/Mess: A hostel for all students is available within the Institution. Atia School of Midwifery has free of cost hostels and meals for students of midwifery course.
Library: A library with text books, latest reference books and journals prescribed by Pakistan Nursing Council related to the course is available for students.
Remuneration to candidates: Selected students are paid of Rs.6000/- (Rupees six thousand only) as monthly stipend after passing their PTS examination on the basis of their performance and punctuality.