You may not know it, but midwives all over the country are responsible for delivering most of the newborn babies countrywide.
They're an essential part of maternal and childcare services. And for two days now, 20 midwives have been participating in a training to better improve their abilities to teach new midwives how to provide this health service at a very high standard.
The Caribbean Regional Midwives Association, and the Caribbean Nurses Association have been conducting these types of sessions all over the region, and they are also the main facilitators in Belize at this time.
We stopped by to find out what it takes to teach a novice how to be a good midwife, and here's what they trainers had to tell us:
Augustina Eligio, Deputy Director - Health Services, Nursing
"We are having a 2 day workshop on competency based education that is being held for midwifery preceptors as well as midwifery lectures. So we do have lecturers from the University of Belize likewise we have clinicians midwives from the units who work closely with midwifery students. We do have the Caribbean Nurses Association with us here in Belize who have been doing this similar training, this competency based education in the Caribbean region and Belize is more than appreciative to have these associations here in Belize."
"What is happening is that through the international council of midwives the old didactic traditional way of training of teaching of learning is no longer of relevance. We need to bring some new innovative to it and because nursing like midwifery is hands on as well as theory based we need to prepare the learner and the teacher."
Shirley Curtis, Caribbean Regional Midwives Assoc.
"Competency based education is about the delivery of education from not just the classroom, like from the University of Belize, but also from the ward. So in competency based education we are introducing different methodologies of delivering the information to the students and not just to student, but also evaluation. So if you see that there is a deficiency in a colleague in her practice, how do you go about helping her to increase her skills or to better her skills in, so it's not just the students, it's also peer evaluation and building the competency base of all the midwives in the practice. At the end of the day it's not just about whether or not you pass the exam, but are you competent and confident in the skill."
The Deputy Director of Health Services told us that midwives deliver 90% of newborns, except for when the infant needs to be delivered through cesarean section.