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University honours contribution of former student and midwifery lecturer  

A midwife with special ties with the University of Bradford has received an outstanding contribution award from the higher education institution.

Former student and guest lecturer, Rukeya Miah has been recognised for her career as an award-winning midwife and her advocacy for equality and inclusion within healthcare and leadership.

“I would like to thank the university for this incredible honour, I am immensely grateful”

Rukeya Miah

Starting her relationship with the university in the late 1990s, first studying for a nursing diploma and then as a student midwife, she returned as a guest midwifery lecturer to help the next generation.

Ms Miah is currently head of midwifery, family and women’s health group at Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.

She has delivered thousands of babies during her career, including the unexpected home delivery of her niece, while she herself was heavily pregnant with her youngest daughter.

Having been involved with the university for over 25 years, noted she had seen many changes in midwifery teaching, most recently the addition of an interactive birthing mannequin and augmented reality technology.

She said: “The University of Bradford has a very special place in my heart. I would like to thank the university for this incredible honour, I am immensely grateful.

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“The privileges of serving others in the ways that I had the honour of doing is one thing, but to receive an outstanding contribution award from this university in recognition of this is really something.”

Her work has seen her recognised by the Nursing and Midwifery Council as BAME Midwife of the Year 2022 as well as being shortlisted in three categories in the 2022 Nursing Times Awards.

In addition, she has been named as one of Bradford’s most influential South Asians in 2021 and was awarded the British Empire Medal in the Queen’s birthday honours in June 2022.

“Rukeya has made a significant difference to the lives of people here in Bradford”

Anita Sargeant

The university highlighted that many of her accolades were a result of the integral part Ms Miah played in Bradford’s Covid-19 vaccine rollout.

It described her as instrumental in addressing culturally sensitive and varying community needs, thereby increasing the uptake of the vaccine across the district.

For example, she set up a family vaccine centre, enabling whole families to be vaccinated, and took the vaccine to wherever a centre could be set up.

Dr Anita Sargeant, associate dean in the Faculty of Health Studies at the University of Bradford presented Ms Miah with her award during the Winter 2023 Graduation Ceremonies.

Recalling working with her during the pandemic, she said: “I remember meeting Rukeya in a muddy field at Skipton Music Festival, having been on stage sharing the message about vaccinations, before returning to the tent where her team of staff and volunteers were continuing to deliver vaccinations to the sound of the funfair, live bands and the smell of the food stand.

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“But they did this too across Bradford, anywhere a vaccine centre could be set up, making it accessible to all,” noted Ms Sargeant.

She added: “Rukeya has made a significant difference to the lives of people here in Bradford and I’m delighted to be able to recognise and celebrate her work.”

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