Dr Roa Altaweli is the first midwife from Saudi Arabia to obtain a PhD. Roa was born in Jeddah, she is a registered nurse and midwife, and has worked as a midwife at National Guard Hospital in Jeddah and as a teaching assistant at Dar Al Hekma University.
Roa decided to pursue a academic career and obtained a Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Practice of Midwifery from King’s College London and then a Masters and PhD in Midwifery at City University, London.
Roa now works as a Clinical Director of Nursing at East Jeddah Hospital, Saudi Arabia. She is. a founding Board Member and Vice-Chairperson of the Saudi Midwifery Group and a member of a Saudi Ministry of Health initiative called the Optimizing Maternal Mortality and Healthcare Advisory Team.
I hope that midwifery education in Saudi Arabia can be as strong as in the UK
Roa says. “I love being a midwife and would like others to love this profession as much as I do. My aim is to empower women to have natural childbirth in Saudi Arabia and help in the development of direct-entry midwifery courses that prepare competent, qualified midwives.”
And Roa certainly takes ’empowering women’ seriously, by keeping connected to women and childbirth.
We are amazed that Roa has any spare time – but she does, and then she likes to paint. Her work is beautiful – and she’s allowed us to share a few of her masterpieces with you!
Roa’s 5 Top Tips for midwives considering studying for a PhD
1. Love midwifery, and keep practising as a midwife
2. Participate in teaching students, women and families.
3. Update your self with evidence based article reading
4. Communicate with other midwives
5. Remember there’ll be hard times. You’ll need courage and resilience to continue!