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July 15th, 2008
Poll: Do you think trained health workers in the developing world who have not completed medical school should be allowed to perform surgery?
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  • Kim

    Absolutley…When it’s alreay this bad how much worse can it really get. There is no other answer right now or something would have been implemented sooner.

  • Marilyn A. Ray, RN, PhD

    Having taught nurses and nurse practitioners, and been associated with nurse midwives through my own education in and practice of maternal-child and family care, I do think that nurse midwives within the context of a variety of circumstances, such as in rural Mozambique or other international regions, have a moral responsibility to perform Caesarean Sections to save the live of mothers and babies. It would be immoral not to allow such a practice when there are educated people to do so. There are shortages of both nurses and physicians. Using their unique knowledge and caring gifts, physicians and nurses must embrace a spirit of cooperation and work together to solve the world’s health problems. Nurse midwives have been practicing in the United Kingdom, and other developed nations for many years. Nurse midwives in the US must have a Master of Science degree and/or a Doctor of Nursing Practice and have national certification in Nurse Midwivery to practice nurse midwivery. They work in collaboration with physician and obstetricians. There are other persons practicing midwivery who are not nurses.
    Thank you for sponsoring this Wide Angle program and the discussion with Dr. Chan, Director-General of WHO.

  • christine waymark

    I was appalled to find that a rural hospital was operating on an old generator that kept breaking down and the cost of a new one would be $1000 there must be a way that we could make donations that would quickly come to that amount. Is there any way that can be done. Thanks

  • Bay Butler

    Medical corpsmen in the military have performed surgeries in war after war with probably less training than these midwives are getting. Thousands are alive today because of their work. Practice makes perfect, and these midwives have both practice and training. More power to them. Thanks for covering this important program.

  • John

    I agree with all those above. Yes, it is important that they perform these operations!

  • Sarah Davis

    Yes, absolutely, health workers who have not attended medical school should be allowed to perform any surgery or procedure that they are trained and able to perform. I am a midwife who attends home births in urban USA. While I do not need such skills here, since emergency medical assistance is readily available, I would absolutely support midwives who attend women who have no access to hospitals in gaining surgical skills, including cesarean delivery, if they have adequate, appropriate training. Surgery is a practical skill and can be learned by those without formal education, as long as they have excellent manual skills and much practice.

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