Home > ON-GOING PROJECTS > “Passerelle” – Gateway to midwifery training at ISSI (Institut Supérieur en Sciences Infirmières) – Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

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In 2011, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) estimated that in the DRC there were only two midwives per 1,000 live births compared to six to twelve in other countries on the continent, such as Ghana and Uganda.

Despite a major reform of midwifery training, introduced as part of the global effort to improve maternal and child health several years ago, it is clear that the skills of midwives and nurse midwives still fall far short of the minimum international standards required to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality.

The need for qualified midwives is undeniable in the DRC, particularly in rural areas but also in peri-urban areas.

Life expectancy
(at birth)
60 72.2 60.8 80
Maternal mortality
(per 100,000 live births)
693 216 547 14
Neonatal mortality rate
(per 1000)
29 18 27.2 4
Infant mortality rate
(under 5 years/per 1000)
91 39 76 7
Number of doctors
(per 1000 inhabitants)
0.1 1.5 0.2 2.9
Number of caregivers
(nurses & midwives/per 1000)
1 3.1 1.1 7.9
Source: World Bank, WHO – Most recent figures (2009-2018)


Twenty years after the launch of the Nursing course, it is time for l’Institut Supérieur en Sciences Infirmières (ISSI) to launch the Midwifery course.

The training will take place over a period of two and a half years and will be open to practicing nurses and midwives.

The objective is for the first graduate midwives to become the academic and clinical trainers for the next group of students. Currently there are no midwives in DRC trained under this model. The first candidates accepted into the program will, therefore, receive their theoretical instruction and internship follow-up from external, international experts.



The implementation of this project is based on several years of close collaboration between LINCCO and ISSI and on the financial support of La Fondation Thérèse et Guy Charron.

LINCCO is grateful for the invaluable involvement of Ms. Marie Hatem, a full professor at the School of Public Health of the University of Montreal who has developed midwifery training programs in various countries.

LINCCO hopes to raise 90,000 CAD by 2024 ($30,000/year)