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About The Society

The Midwives Society of South Africa aims to raise the status, maintain the integrity, support and promote the interests of the midwife, develop and promote an adequate, efficient and effective midwifery service in South Africa, consider every matter in connection with or with reference to midwifery and act as an advisory body, bring about liaison and cooperation with other groups and health care providers associated with midwifery, encourage the establishment of local groups in order to promote the aims and goals of the Society, promote research in midwifery and promote liaison with midwifery groups internationally.


SOMSA Congress 2018 Programme

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South African Neonatal Skin Care Guidlines

Click here to read the guideline

A newsletter for Provincial Assessors of Confidential Enquiries into Maternal Deaths

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Previous News

Respectful Care Training video

Herewith below is a video link shared by the NDoH’s Maternal and Neonatal Health Programme and recommended by the Ministerial National Committee on Enquiries into Maternal Deaths. This training video is aimed at trainers who train care providers in empathic engagement skills.

Click here to watch video

Midwives in South Africa - Royal College of Midwives

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Report From the Limpopo SOMSA Branch

Download the Presentation Here

Report From the Eastern Cape SOMSA Branch

Download the Presentation Here

ICM 2014 – June Newsletter

Download the Newsletter Here

Report From KZN SOMSA Branch

Download the Presentation Here

A letter from the President’s desk on the Midwives International Day - May 5th

This day is dedicated to midwives world wide. I am sitting in the Newly Born Country, South Sudan, working on midwifery programs while thinking about the events to be held in my country for Midwives. I am amazed by the effort of South Sudan as a country to take midwifery to the higher level. It dawned in mind that in my country there is a register with names of people qualified in the midwifery, but very little is evident in service delivery or professional growth. I remember an interview with one of the television stations in 2010. The presenter was fascinated that the country is now having midwives. She made it clear that she often hear that nurses attend to women in need of maternity services in South Africa. At least now, talking with hope for better service, the country is going to have midwives. This gave me the impression that people out there do not know about midwives in South Africa but know nurses. This has been confirmed recently by a potential sponsor who wants to get young girls in townships to do midwifery. She is so sure that only this profession “not nurses” but midwives render a special service, which has saved lives of women in many countries. They are kind and compassionate and highly skilled in maternal and child care services, she said. I realized that midwives have gained honour and respect for what they do. I thought about what midwives do, I feel I need to share this with you on your special day:

What midwives really do
They bring life, bring happiness, they save lives and restore happiness,
They promote normal birth, prevent complications and save money.
They work behind the scenes and behind closed doors,
They keep the secrets and privacy of their clients.
They are compassionate, sensitive and empowered
They go deeper than what an ordinary person’s eyes can see.
They penetrate the womb and see life inside the woman.
They have magical hands that they use as their instruments.
They are knowledgeable, brilliant, talented, and fabulous in their work
They have the power to reduce and increase population growth
Yet they fear to be in the forefront because they will make other people insecure
What more can I say I rather borrow these words:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God….”

by Marianne Williamson

To all midwives where ever you are I urge you to realize the power you have and the responsibility on your shoulders to bring lives of the next generation and other generations to come. Each time you do this, remember the goal is to have a healthy baby who has a healthy mother to take care of her family. Mothers do not need to do this on their own but with the families. So it is time to have midwifery that is family orientated and women focused.

It is because of you that HIV transmission has been reduced in the country and it is because of you that measles and polio has been eradicated. Pat yourselves on the back and do even a better job. The country needs you. You have the power and the skill all you need is support and enough resources. Only you can reduce maternal and child mortality.

Midwives reclaim your space and do even a better job. Enjoy the International Day of Midwives because you are a midwife
- From the president’s desk

International Day of the Midwife Key Messages

This year the International Day of the Midwife theme will continue to be:

The World Needs Midwives Now More than Ever!

Over 287,000 women and over 3 million infants around the world die each year as a result of preventable pregnancy and childbirth complications. Most of these deaths would be prevented if there were enough qualified and adequately resourced midwives.

In 2013 we are also promoting messages around: 'Midwives' Role in Family Planning;' 'Investing in Midwives'; and 'Beyond the MDGs 2015.'

Midwives Save Lives!

  • Over 287,000 women and over 3 million infants around the world die each year as a result of preventable pregnancy and childbirth complications. Most of these deaths would be prevented if there were enough qualified and adequately resourced midwives.
  • When mothers and newborns die, approximately US$15.5 billion in potential productivity is lost each year.
  • Universal access to a well-educated, regulated midwifery workforce in a health system with adequate equipment and supplies could prevent up to 60% of maternal deaths.
  • To ensure universal coverage for maternity care an estimated 350,000 extra midwives are needed.

Investing in Midwives

  • Midwives support midwives and unite through the power of midwifery associations across the world to develop and strengthen midwifery globally.
  • To improve access to midwives in low resource countries, governments need to take action.
  • Developed and developing countries both need better quality midwifery care.

Family planning

  • Family planning would prevent 54 million unintended pregnancies in developing countries.
  • 80% of unintended pregnancies in developing countries occur to women who have an unmet need for contraception.
  • 47 thousand women die each year because of unsafe abortion; 13% of all maternal deaths.
  • More than 75% of abortions could be prevented by meeting women’s needs for Family Planning.
  • Pregnant adolescents are more likely to have preterm deliveries and low birth weight babies, which is associated with an increase in neonatal mortality. Access to family planning would reduce adolescent pregnancies.

Beyond the MDGs 2015

  • The World Health Organization, UN agencies and other global partners identified that midwives are the key to achieving reductions in maternal and newborn deaths and disabilities globally.
  • The locations and levels of maternal mortality indicate serious inequalities throughout the world. Midwives are committed to tackle this inequality globally.
  • The vision that every childbearing woman has access to a midwife’s care for herself and her newborn remains crucial, particularly as the deadline for the MDGs 2015 draws closer.

A letter from the desk of the new President of SOMSA – Busisiwe Kunene

I did not believe in the saying, "dynamites come in small packages" until the 2012 Congress which took place in the Gauteng Province. Just a few years ago Gauteng Province had no Provincial representative for SOMSA until Nomusa Ramela with a big heart and a creative mind took the lead and volunteered not only to take SOMSA to new heights but to revive it especially in Gauteng.

Nomusa Ramela started inviting midwives to discussion groups. These midwives organized their own speakers who are involved at various service delivery and policy making with the aim of updating themselves. This sounds advantageous to both midwives and Maternal Child and Women’s Health at facility, district and Provincial level. At least they would take the opportunity to disseminate their strategies and policies. But the request to have at least a day during the week where this can be done has not been approved.

All this did not stop the passionate midwives in Gauteng to go forward with their monthly updates. It did not end there they volunteered to host all midwives of South Africa in the Society of Midwives Congress in 2012. The dynamites really showed what the small package can do. SOMSA does not have a large number of member in this province but the strength and team work is wonderful and some of the members are new in the SOMSA. Others have never hosted a big event if hosted any at all. Talking to the Scientific Committee Chairperson, Tshidi Chokwe she said “There was a time when I almost resigned because when I volunteered I did not know what I was getting myself into. I never thought that this included organizing the Congress Program”. But the team managed to call for help and got support from the right places. Looking at the evaluation almost all midwives agree that this was one of the best Congresses in all spheres. This is the team that worked day and night to make the Congress a success.

The Society of Midwives of South Africa

At SOMSA we learn skills beyond midwifery. In our Congress we have the privilege to communicate with Council itself (SANC). What more can you ask for if the office governing your practice can come down to your level. DENOSA educated midwives especially on leadership. We were privileged to have Guest Speakers and presenters from some of our sponsors. There are organisations that do not only sponsor in the form of finance, which is good, but take their time to work with midwives on women, children and population development. The country Representative of UNFPA gave us a well researched presentation. We are looking forward to tackle the issues discussed in the Congress together. I do not know what the SOMSA Congress will be like without our close partners and sponsors such as Johnson and Johnson and UNFPA(United Nations Population Fund).

We would like to thank our sponsors and invite even more of those who share the interest in improving the health of mother and child. This can be achieved with good midwifery especially in a country where more than two thirds of care of such group is rendered by midwives

Various speakers challenge what people regard as "normal", as midwives we interrogate our own practice and suggested simple solutions. Focus was on the better service delivery with accountability. Thanks to all the Provincial Departments, in particular, MCWH with HIV prevention and management (PMTCT), who made it possible for the midwives to be updated on new strategies and innovations that enable them to be better midwives.

The Society of Midwives of South Africa

A special thanks to The Conference Company in acting as Congress Secretariat and assisting the Gauteng Branch.

We are now looking forward to see all the midwives in the Western Cape as all the arrangements are being made for a successful SOMSA 2013. The same conference organizers, The Conference Company is on their toes. The Local team is led by Professors this time and the team is already steps ahead with preparations. I would like to quote from one of them, if you ask a question about the Congress she says “in Western Cape we deliver”. One of these Professors led the Scientific Committee for ICM in 2010. It is for this reason that we are inviting midwives from all over the world to see how it is done. Come to Cape Town on the first week of December.

Just a tip it is even cheaper if you are/become a SOMSA member before March this year as there is further reduction in registration fees if you register under the early bird registration option.
Walala wasala!!!!

ICM 2014

There is already massive interest and great anticipation about the Prague Congress following our hugely successful 2011 event in Durban, South Africa, where, more than 3,000 midwives attended from a record 115 countries


Prague, 24 January, 2013

Dear midwives, we would like to inform you that the Abstract Submission and the Online Registration for the “ICM 30th Triennial Congress” are open.


We warmly invite you to submit an abstract for the “ICM 30th Triennial Congress” which will be held in Prague, Czech Republic, 1 - 5 June 2014. The general theme of the congress is “Midwives: Improving Women’s Health Globally”. We welcome any abstracts related to any of the following sub-themes:

  • Bridging midwifery and women’s health rights
  • Access: bridging the gap to improving care and outcomes for women and their families
  • Education: The bridge to midwifery and women’s autonomy
  • Midwifery: bridging culture and practice

To submit your Abstract an Online Submission is available - click here.

Please read the Abstract Submission Guidelines carefully and follow the instructions on how to submit the abstract correctly.

The deadline for the Abstract Submission is 17 March, 2013.


Together with the Abstract Submission the Registration had been opened, too. The online Registration is now available at the congres website
To access the Registration directly – click here.

Please read the Registration Guidelines carefully and follow the instructions on how to process your Registration successfully.

For more information please check the congress website

Best regards,

Congress Secretariat