After very little sleep, it was back to the classroom for the final OSCE exam, this time with the first-year students. Then we went on a trip to the high-risk hospital for our final visit, where the administrator gave us a tour of the unit. This hospital had been built on the grounds of Bernadette’s family home after discussion between Evita and Bernadette’s fourteen siblings. A small chapel in the hospital served as a reminder of the previous home and some of the original woodwork had been utilised in making this. The unit, although for high-risk women, had a calm feel about it, busy but organised. Dietitians were on hand to ensure all women have appropriate nutrition during their stay. Again, photography was not permitted where the women stayed, but we did take pictures of the laundry, which was on the top floor and catered for all the Fernandez Hospital laundry. The washing machines were huge and the clothes/bedding air dried then ironed by hand with industrial sized presses.
On our return, we finished the final marking of the exam papers and collated the marks ready for tomorrow.
In the evening we went out to a ‘Bollywood’-themed restaurant with Dr Rajitha Reddy, Senior Obstetrician, her daughter, and some of the students. It was good to chat with the students now the pressure of the exams was over- they were surprised that we had eaten curry in England and thought we would not be used to the spicy food!
During our final day, we met with the students first and gave them the good news – they had all passed the exams, tears of relief and happiness all round. Then we met with Evita and Rajitha to discuss everything we had been doing over the last ten days. The feedback included things that went well and also ideas for taking the project forward- leaving all of us with more work to do. We are impressed at how much work has already gone into this project of training midwives and fully appreciate the ongoing work required before midwives are fully recognised by the Indian Government and thus be awarded a professional qualification. Evita and Rajitha are both committed to making this become a reality in the future and we hope to be able to continue to support them.
A little more shopping in the afternoon with Bernadette found us in a discount clothing shop trying on some traditional outfits, we both bought something to wear in the evening.
In the final night of celebration we had a wonderful buffet meal in a local restaurant with Evita and Rajitha, giving us a final taste of Indian food. The hospitality was enjoyed by all.
By the end, we were very tired and ready for sleep. We were disturbed by a knock on our door, some of the students came to visit bringing gifts for us and eager to chatter. They were not in a hurry to leave us…yet another late night!
An early start and farewells as the taxi arrived to take us to the airport for the long journey home.
This was uneventful apart from a delay in Dubai waiting for passengers to appear (they didn’t so we had to wait while their luggage was unloaded!).
We said our goodbyes as Michelle was met at the airport and I caught a train back home after a very long day. A great experience and we hope this has moved Indian midwifery a little further down the road to success.
….now back to our normal working lives…..
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