Aastrika Foundation signs MOU with Government of Karnataka to launch Certificate Program for Nurse Practitioners in Midwifery

November 8 2022

Aastrika Foundation will provide technical, infrastructural and logistical support to the 18-month Nurse Practitioners in Midwifery (NPM) Program.

November 8, 2022, Bengaluru: Aastrika Foundation signs an MOU with the Department of Health & Family Welfare, Government of Karnataka (GoK), to launch the Nurse Practitioners in Midwifery program in the state. Aastrika Foundation is a not-for-profit, based in Bengaluru, working on improving the standards of maternal care to ensure a healthy, dignified, and joyful journey into motherhood. Aastrika Foundation is partnering with the Government of Karnataka and UNICEF, who is the technical partner for this program to launch the National Midwifery Training Institute (NMTI) at Vanivilas Hospital in Bengaluru, Karnataka.

Midwifery is a proven, globally acclaimed model of care that can prevent as many as 83 per cent of all maternal and newborn deaths.

This program is a part of the Government of India’s 2018 midwifery initiatives and is intended to promote Respectful Maternity Care (RMC) and vaginal births, thereby also bringing down the rates of unnecessary c-sections. The 18 months program will train registered nurses to become midwifery educators, who in turn will be training Nurse Practitioners in Midwifery (NPMs) at the State level Midwifery Training Institutes (SMTI). The participants for the educator program have been selected by the GoK, along with 3 candidates from Aastrika Foundation, who will be part of the first batch of trainee educators., The Nurse Practitioners in Midwifery (NPM) Educators program will comprise six months of residential training at National Midwifery Training Institute (NMTI) in Bengaluru at Vanivilas hospital, followed by a one-year mentoring program at designated State Midwifery Training Institutes (SMTIs) across Karnataka.

The Department. of Health & Family Welfare- Government of Karnataka (GoK) works with a focus on vulnerable communities through providing healthcare and preventative healthcare services. The GoK will support the provision of quality maternal health care in the state of Karnataka through training, accreditation, and deployment of Nurse Practitioners in Midwifery (NPM) into the health care system of the state, and enable Aastrika Foundation to provide the technical, infrastructural, and logistical support to initiate the training program in line with the Government of India’s “Guidelines on Midwifery Services in India, 2018”.

Aastrika Foundation actively advocates for increasing the acceptance of midwifery in both the public and private sectors through its networks and partnerships. In sync with the need for capacity building, the foundation funds digital learning resources on midwifery and respectful maternity care, and has a growing set of physical training programs on these topics, including skills training, simulation training, and clinical training. The NMTI is one of the critical capacity building initiatives of Aastrika Foundation.

Dr. K Sudhakar, Hon’ble Minister for Health and Medical Education, Government of Karnataka said, ““The NPM Educators program will provide a great boost to maternal and neonatal care in the state. Our government is committed to bring down maternal and neonatal deaths caused during delivery of the baby. The program, in addition to providing safe prenatal, delivery and postnatal care, will ensure a dignified motherhood experience especially for women belonging to vulnerable sections of society. The proposed 6 months program for State Midwifery Educators will create certified NPM educators and they in turn will help in training NPMs. I am confident that the program will successfully ensure the reduction of delivery related and postnatal complications in the state in future.”

Dr. Janhavi Nilekani, Founder, Aastrika Foundation, said, “We are honoured and privileged to collaborate with the Department of Health & Family Welfare, Government of Karnataka, to build a professional cadre of midwives in the state and country. India has succeeded in reducing the maternal mortality ratio to 103 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births by 2017-19, but there is much work to be done in order to achieve the target of fewer than 70 deaths per 100,000 live births by 2030, set up by United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). We strongly believe that professional midwives can address India’s maternal health challenges.”

About Aastrika Foundation

Aastrika Foundation is a non-profit formally named AastarUrmika Health Systems. It is a part of the Nilekani Philanthropies umbrella and was established in 2019 by Dr. Janhavi Nilekani with a belief that all child-bearing women should have access to timely, high-quality medical care and to core rights, including, but not limited to, privacy, the companionship of a loved one, informed consent regarding medical interventions, and an abuse-free birthing experience.

As an organisation working towards the implementation of high quality maternity care, Aastrika Foundation primarily works towards addressing the public health challenge of ‘too much, too soon’, and ‘too little, too late’.

Media Contact:
Ayushi Anand: ayushi@the-practice.net , +9195823535851