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Midwifery. 2013 Oct;29(10):1137-44. doi: 10.1016/j.midw.2013.07.004. Epub 2013 Aug 12.

Factors influencing the retention of midwives in the public sector in Afghanistan: a qualitative assessment of midwives in eight provinces.

Author information

1
Health Protection and Research Organisation, House P860, Street 4 Taimany, District 10, Kabul, Afghanistan. Electronic address: mollywood@hotmail.com.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

to examine factors that affect retention of public sector midwives throughout their career in Afghanistan.

DESIGN:

qualitative assessment using semi-structured in-depth interviews (IDIs) and focus group discussions (FGDs).

SETTING:

health clinics in eight provinces in Afghanistan, midwifery education schools in three provinces, and stakeholder organisations in Kabul.

PARTICIPANTS:

purposively sampled midwifery profession stakeholders in Kabul (n=14 IDIs); purposively selected community midwifery students in Kabul (n=3 FGDs), Parwan (n=1 FGD) and Wardak (n=1 FGD) provinces (six participants per FGD); public sector midwives, health facility managers, and community health workers from randomly selected clinics in eight provinces (n=48 IDIs); midwives who had left the public sector midwifery service (n=5 IDIs).

MEASUREMENTS AND FINDINGS:

several factors affect a midwife throughout her career in the public sector, including her selection as a trainee, the training itself, deployment to her pre-assigned post, and working in clinics. Overall, appropriate selection is the key to ensuring deployment and retention later on in a midwife's career. Other factors that affect retention of midwives include civil security concerns in rural areas, support of family and community, salary levels, professional development opportunities and workplace support, and inefficient human resources planning in the public sector.

KEY CONCLUSIONS:

Factors affecting midwife retention are linked to problems within the community midwifery education (CME) programme and those reflecting the wider Afghan context. Civil insecurity and traditional attitudes towards women were major factors identified that negatively affect midwifery retention.

IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE:

Factors such as civil insecurity and traditional attitudes towards women require a multisectoral response and innovative strategies to reduce their impact. However, factors inherent to midwife career development also impact retention and may be more readily modified.

KEYWORDS:

Afghanistan; Employee retention; Midwifery

PMID:
23948184
DOI:
10.1016/j.midw.2013.07.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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