Caribbean Midwives Association
On Dec. 15, 1999, at Midwifery Today's Conference in Jamaica, the first
meeting of the Caribbean Midwives Association (proposed name) was held. The
purpose of the association is increased communication, coalition-building
and education, especially amongst midwives living and working in and near
the Caribbean. Membership is all-inclusive and is open to anyone
interested. The group is planning to co-sponsor a conference tied to the
International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) Regional Conference and a
Midwifery Today Conference, with a proposed date of May 5, 2001, to be held
in Trinidad.

The immediate needs of this newly forming association are: membership,
responsive contacts in each Caribbean country, funding (i.e. from ICM,
PAHO, etc.),a midwives' association in each Caribbean country, women's
associations as contacts for networking, multilingual translation of
newsletters and at conferences (English, French, Spanish), press releases
to all countries in the Caribbean, organizational meetings.

The next international organizational meeting for the midwifery association
is tentatively planned for the first weekend in December 2000, or in the
spring of 2001 (after carnival).

Plans were initiated for regional organizational meetings to be held
amongst midwives in Puerto Rico, at the Autumn School Meeting in Jamaica,
with midwifery associations of various countries, and at the Annual Seminar
in Trinidad. Progress reports from the regional meetings will be given at
the Philadelphia Midwifery Today Conference, the third weekend in March

One of the most important things that emerged at the Midwifery Today
Jamaica conference was the founding meeting of a Caribbean Midwives
Association, whose intention is to strengthen and protect midwifery in the
Caribbean countries. It is still uncertain how it will be structured, but a
much larger group than the twenty-four founding members present at the
Midwifery Today conference will discuss it and make decisions. During a
rousing exchange about the split between direct entry and nurse midwifery
in Jamaica, it was made clear that some of the same problems are going on
the world over. According to a midwife from Trinidad-Tobago, however, the
midwives' association there includes not only direct entry and nurse
midwives but traditional midwives as well. Their ability to bridge the gap
is a fine example to all of us.
-Jan Tritten, excerpted from her editorial in the coming issue of Midwifery

Reprinted from Midwifery Today E-News (Vol 2 Issue 6 February 11, 2000)
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