Establishment of an accreditation system for midwifery education in Afghanistan: Maintaining quality during national expansion

Jeffrey M. Smith, Sheena Currie, Pashtoon Azfar, Ahmed Javed Rahmanzai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To establish a mechanism for ensuring and regulating quality of pre-service midwifery education in Afghanistan during a period of intense expansion. Study design: Case study of public health practice in health workforce development. Methods: Afghanistan's high maternal mortality is due, in part, to a lack of competent skilled midwives. In post-conflict Afghanistan, 21 midwifery schools were re-opened or established between 2003 and 2007 in an atmosphere without proper regulatory mechanisms for ensuring educational quality. A national accreditation programme for midwifery education was developed with the following components: an appropriate policy foundation; educational standards and tools to assess achievement of these standards; technical support to programmes to identify gaps and solve problems; and a system of official recognition. Results: All midwifery schools were mandated to achieve accreditation. Nineteen schools had been accredited by early 2007, with an average achievement of 91% of the agreed and mandated national standards for running a midwifery school. One school has been closed by the National Midwifery Education Accreditation Board due to inability to achieve the standards. Conclusion: Establishment of a national mechanism to accredit midwifery schools and ensure quality education can be achieved during a period of rapid expansion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)558-567
Number of pages10
JournalPublic Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2008


  • Accreditation
  • Afghanistan
  • Education
  • Midwifery
  • Quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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