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First-of-its-kind Accredited Birth Care Practitioner Certificate Course Commences

Hyderabad, 04 July 2024: Fernandez Foundation & University of Hyderabad’s much-awaited Birth Care Practitioner (Birth Doula) Certificate Course commenced today. This course has been designed to equip aspiring birth professionals with the skills and knowledge necessary to support mothers before, during and after childbirth. The self-paced online training must be completed within two years from admission and is structured into three sequential parts: Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced Courses, each spanning 1, 2, and 3 months respectively.


The virtual introduction class featured notable attendees, including Prof. B J Rao, Vice Chancellor of UoH; Prof. Geeta K Vemuganti, Dean of the School of Medical Sciences, UoH; Prof. S. Jeelani, Director of the Centre for Distance and Virtual Learning; Prof. Nagendra Kumar S, Associate Director of the Centre for Digital Learning and Training Resources; Prof. B R Shamanna, UoH Coordinator; Dr. Pramod Gaddam, MD, Fernandez Foundation and Senior Consultant – Paediatrics and Head of Social Initiatives at Fernandez Hospital; Pooja Shenoy, Course Coordinator and Mentor; Celestina Cavinder, Course Mentor; and 16 enrolled students. The students in this course hail from various regions, including Hyderabad, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Maharashtra, Gurgaon, and Dehradun, showcasing the diversity and inclusivity of our student body.

During the launch, the Hon’ble VC, Prof B J Rao, stressed “the importance of such programmes in the context of the National Educational Policy and its positioning to be a skill development initiative.” He urged the team to find an Indian equivalent nomenclature for a doula and look at scale in the next course, learning from this experience. The Dean, School of Medical Sciences, Prof. Geeta said, “it was long time coming and impressed that such programmes along with other socially relevant programmes are very integral to the mandate of the school.” Prof Jeelani, provided the academic administration aspects of the course and the credit system and how a learner can accumulate 20 credits at the end of the 6-month period. Dr Pramod talked about how doulas in the Indian context are not only new and very few and far and the need to increase numbers manyfold.

Prof Nagendra provided an overview of the Learning Management System and how participants can access learning resources, while Dr Pooja and Ms Celestina gave the details of the course and what leads to the certification. The participants then introduced themselves and their reasons for enrolling in the course.

“We are thrilled to start this comprehensive training programme,” said Dr Evita Fernandez, Chairperson and Managing Director of Fernandez Foundation. “I congratulate all the students who have started the course with their introduction class and encourage them to avail themselves of the best from this course, which will teach them skills and knowledge to support families through pregnancy, birth, and the immediate postpartum period. It prepares individuals for the critical role of a Birth Doula and ensures they gain practical experience under expert guidance, setting a high standard for professional care in childbirth.”


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