Health Promotion opportunities for Auxiliary Nurse Midwives in Nepal
Keywords:Midwifery, Maternity care, South Asia, Health education
AbstractHealth promotion moves beyond changing the health-related knowledge, attitudes and behaviour of individuals and covers a wide range of social and environmental interventions. Nepal has also introduced health promotion policies targeting health education, information and communication. Auxiliary Nurse Midwives (ANMs), who are responsible for delivering primary care maternity services, especially in birthing centres located in rural areas of Nepal, also have an important role to play in the promotion of women’s health during pregnancy, intra-partum and post-partum. However, in the present context, health promotion provided by ANMs in Nepal is confined mostly to health education and behavioural-change communication. There are a range of health promotion activities relevant to maternity care and midwifery that ANMs can practice even in low-technology rural birthing centres. Such health promotion offers an opportunity to move away from a very medical and behavioural model to a more empowering one in order to prevent health problems in a cost-effective way.