240409 Dae Emhu (No Way): A Survey of Student Midwives Willingness to Practice in Rural Areas in Ghana

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sarah Rominski, MPH , Medical School, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Background: Midwives are the foundation for maternal child health worldwide. In Ghana the majority of the population lives in rural areas while the vast majority of health care workers reside in urban areas. We undertook this study to elucidate factors that young midwives-in-training find important when deciding whether or not to practice in rural areas. Methods: Computer-based surveys were conducted with 238 final year midwifery students at the two largest midwifery training colleges in Ghana. Students reported their willingness to work in a deprived area according to a five category Likert scale. Data were collected via Sawtooth Software and analyzed via PASW 18. Results: The most important drivers impacting their decision to not work in a rural area were: 1) poor quality of clinical facilities; 2) poor quality of education for children; and 3) lack of social amenities in rural deprived areas. The ability to return to a university to pursue a degree was consistently cited as one of the most important factors in choosing a future work location. Discussion: Until more midwives are attracted to work in rural, remote areas health inequities will continue and the targeted reduction for maternal mortality will remain elusive. Young midwives in this study were not interested in practicing in rural areas. Based on our findings a small number of young midwives may be motivated to live and practice in rural areas for a distinct amount of time (2 years) if they would then be guaranteed a position in a degree program.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Program planning
Public health or related nursing

Learning Objectives:
Define the factors that final year midwifery students cite when deciding whether or not to practice in a rural area.

Keywords: International Health, Maternal and Child Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a researcher and have spent much of the past two years working with colleagues in Ghana exploring health workers in general and midwives in particular.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.