Malawian Health Care Workers’ Perceptions of Western Midwives: Towards Becoming a Welcome Guest

Bobbie Adkins BSc, CPM Sherri Melrose PhD, RN

This article discusses a qualitative research project that explored Malawian health care workers' feelings towards western trained volunteer midwives. The project was framed from a constructivist theoretical perspective and utilized a descriptive research design. Participants included midwives, patient attendants, nurses and physicians working at the Embangweni Hospital in Malawi, Africa. Fourteen individual interviews were conducted over a three-month period. The data was analyzed for themes by two researchers and confirmed with participants through ongoing member checking. The first theme was that western midwives offer important contributions to health care services in Malawi. The second theme was that western midwives' limited knowledge of Malawian culture was problematic. The third theme was that thoughtful preparation before arriving in Malawi was valued.

Volunteer midwife contributions, Malawi

This article has been peer-reviewed.


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