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Training begins for maiden batch of medical staff at Karnataka’s first National Midwifery school

Aastrika Foundation - which promotes midwifery - has started the National Midwifery Training Institute at the government-run Vanivilas Hospital in collaboration with the Karnataka government.

Aastrika Foundation was born out of the realization of its founder and chairperson, Janhavi Nilekani, of the importance of midwives during her own pregnancy and the poor condition of healthcare services available in Karnataka. (Twitter/@Aastrika_fndn)
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Training begins for maiden batch of medical staff at Karnataka’s first National Midwifery school
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Karnataka’s first National Midwifery Training Institute (NMTI) has started training its first batch of faculty members from a government hospital. Aastrika Foundation – which promotes midwifery – has started the institute at the government-run Vanivilas Hospital in collaboration with the Karnataka government.

Aastrika Foundation was born out of the realization of its founder and chairperson, Janhavi Nilekani, of the importance of midwives during her own pregnancy and the poor condition of healthcare services available in Karnataka.

“It is important that midwifery is accessible to women across society, across socio-economic backgrounds, including the private sector,” Nilekani said.

NMTI’s first batch consists of 33 students, out of which 30 are selected by the government and the other three are from the foundation itself.

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After 18 months of faculty training, they will become teachers and train the next batch for midwifery. Speaking about the training program, Nilekani said, “After this batch of faculty training, we would want to see them teach midwives. Our hope is to set up multiple training programs in Karnataka.”

A midwife is a health professional trained to support and care for women during pregnancy, labour and childbirth. The World Health Organization’s (WHO) guidelines recommend that midwives take the lead in providing care through pregnancy, childbirth, and afterwards.
This “continuity of care” is preferred by women, and has been proved to reduce preterm births by 24% – a key factor in improving infant health.

Aastrika Foundation earlier launched the private Aastrika Midwifery Centre (AMC) in 2021 at Vasavi Hospital in south Bengaluru. Last year, AMC reported 27.4 per cent C-section rates as opposed to 52.5 per cent in Karnataka’s private hospitals.

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Speaking about starting AMC, Jahnavi Nilekani said, “women can get the care you get abroad, it should be possible in a city like Bengaluru, my personal motivation came from the experience I had in Hyderabad during my pregnancy, I thought Bengaluru could also have the same kind of places you see in Hyderabad.”

Aastrika Foundation has trained more than 12000 people across the country up till now and hopes to reach its short-term target of 50000 students. With the beginning of NMTI, it hopes to expand its courses and provide better healthcare facilities for women. The founder of Aastrika Foundation Jahnavi Nilekani is the daughter of IT and social entrepreneurs Nandan Nilekani and Rohini Nilekani.

(Written by Shyma Rauf)

First published on: 24-01-2023 at 22:13 IST
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