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City student first midwifery PhD graduate from Saudi Arabia

Dr Roa Altaweli wants to help develop midwifery practice in Saudi Arabia

by George Wigmore (Senior Communications Officer)

Graduation BarbicanDr Roa Altaweli, a student from the School of Health Sciences, is the first midwife from Saudi Arabia to obtain a PhD.

Awarded her doctorate at the City University London graduation ceremony on Friday, Dr Altaweli’s thesis investigated the use of interventions during the second stage of labour and explored what may affect their use in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. 

Born in Jeddah, Dr Altaweli is a registered nurse and midwife, holding a BSc in Nursing from King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah. After obtaining a Postgraduate Diploma in Midwifery from Bahrain, she was appointed as a midwife at National Guard hospital in Jeddah and then a teaching assistant at Dar Al Hekma University.

Following work as a midwife, Dr Altaweli decided to pursue a more academic route by achieving a Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Practice of Midwifery from Kings College London, and an MSc in Midwifery and PhD in Midwifery from City University London. Starting the PhD in 2010 and finishing the thesis last year, she is currently applying for jobs in Saudi Arabia in universities and hospitals. 

Speaking about her PhD award and plans for the future, Dr Altaweli said:

“I want to be a leader in my field who can successfully improve women's health in my country and the world, and I am looking forward to improve midwifery practice in Saudi Arabia and establish direct-entry midwifery programme. As a result I am looking for a position that best utilises the education I received in nursing and midwifery and to further expand the experience I have from my past work history.”

Dr Altaweli is also the vice-chairperson of the Saudi Midwifery Group (SMG) that was recently established in August 2015.

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City, University of London is an independent member institution of the University of London. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the University of London consists of 18 independent member institutions with outstanding global reputations and several prestigious central academic bodies and activities.