Debrah Lewis was a founder of the Caribbean Regional Midwives Association. She has worked with ICM, sitting on the Board before holding the post of Vice-President (2011-2104); she is currently a Co-Chair of ICM’s Scientific Programme and Planning Committee. She is the Founder and Executive Director of the Mamatoto Resource and Birth Centre, which has been recognized globally. Lewis was the first midwife to receive the President’s National Award for the Development of Women. She has worked with PAHO as a Trainer for the Perinatal Information System, as a consultant with UNFPA, and co-authored the FIGO global guidelines on Intermittent Auscultation in Labour.
Midwives are critical to the pandemic response. You cannot reschedule a pregnancy or birth. We have to continue to care for women and newborns whether symptomatic, tested positive, or not
As a member of the Board of the Regional Health Authority, Lewis has contributed widely to the national health system response to COVID-19. The response has been relatively successful to date, with the majority of cases having been imported instances and a very small number of deaths. In her daily work as a midwife in private practice and as the Executive Director of the birth centre, Lewis is responsible for developing, implementing and updating clinical and administrative policies as a result of COVID-19. In addition to the requisite precautions such as masks, sanitizing, distancing, Lewis and her colleagues have implemented virtual childbirth preparation classes and support groups to ensure that community outreach and support continues. In her work as a UNFPA consultant, Lewis has worked to develop a series of monthly webinars with the Caribbean Regional Midwives Association to provide educational updates and information for midwives across the region, which have been particularly well-received. This has been complemented by a Google Drive where Lewis uploads information relevant to the midwives in the Caribbean. Lewis is also coordinating a survey on the impact of COVID-19 on midwives, personally and professionally. This will not only reveal the strengths and weaknesses of the regional response but will also ensure the Caribbean is represented in global data.