Issue 12
Monday, 18 July 2016
Charles Darwin University
CDU staff and students with their counterparts in Bali as part of a unique cross-cultural placement
CDU staff and students with their counterparts in Bali as part of a unique cross-cultural placement

Midwifery students gain insights in Bali

By Leannne Miles

A group of Charles Darwin University midwifery staff and students has travelled to Bali to gain first-hand insights into the complex issues of providing women-centred care in the face of high perinatal mortality rates.

The unique cross-cultural placement gave students an opportunity to work alongside Indonesian students and midwives in clinics as part of their midwifery in the global context unit.

Midwifery lecturer Theresa Clasquin said it was the first time the clinical placement and experiential tour had been available to students, and was part of a collaborative relationship between the CDU and the Akademi Kebidanan Kartini, Bali.

“The two universities have a core focus on ensuring that midwifery students from both countries are empowered to address the complex issues of midwifery in developing contexts,” Ms Clasquin said.

Along with working with the Indonesian midwives and visiting a number of women’s health and birthing services, the students stayed with the local midwives during their visit.

“This provided the students with incredible insight into how cultural and religious practices and beliefs are so intricately entwined into their midwifery care,” Ms Clasquin said.

“The visits to the clinics also exposed them to differences in access to healthcare services and resources and how this impacted on perinatal outcomes.”

Bachelor of Midwifery student Kristie Stoddart said the placement had been an amazing experience that had opened her eyes to the different reality in other countries.

“Working within the clinics, the scope of the work the midwives in Bali deal with is much larger; they deal with everything from someone with a cough, to birthing and providing general healthcare information on things such as contraception,” Kristie said.

“I also gained a lot out of just talking with the students and staff from Indonesia, comparing how we do things and learning from each other.”

As part of the visit several CDU staff members participated in an international seminar hosted by the Akademi kebidanan Kartini that focused on midwifery care in the home. 

As keynote speakers, the midwifery lecturers spoke on homebirth services in Australia, highlighting the key elements required to promote safe homebirth services for women.