Is it possible to become a midwife in a refugee camp?

The massive population displacement caused by the Saharan War, and the establishment of Sahrawi refugee camps 43 years ago, have compromised the quality of life and health levels of the people who have been forced to survive in these living conditions. Since the founding of the camps, the lack of health facilities to meet the population’s health needs, and the lack of trained health personnel became a priority concern for the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR). Foreign aid made it possible for the basic facilities necessary in order to respond to the population’s needs to be created, thanks to international development projects.

The collaborative international development project Contribution to the improvement of the Sahrawi population’s quality of life through the institutional strengthening of the University of Tifariti, designed and prepared by the University of Jaén. This project has the collaboration of Manuel Linares, member of our research group, in collaboration with researchers from de group Care management and evaluation of care politics in chronicity, ageing and palliative care of University of Jaén, and it was put into action between 2014 and 2018 at the Sahrawi refugee camps.

During this period, activities were carried out to update the qualified or traditional midwives’ skills, as well as contributing teaching materials and practices on this field to the Ahmed Abdel-Fatah School of Nursing to improve the training of said professionals.

With the aim of providing an approach to the origin and evolution of midwifery education for the Sahrawi refugee camps, in the only school of nursing that exists worldwide in a refugee camp, an article has been produced, the full text of which is available at:

Martínez-Linares JM, Linares-Abad M, Calero-García MJ, López-Entrambasaguas OM. Is it possible to become a midwife in a refugee camp?. Midwifery. 2019; 75:12-15.

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