|Government Urged To Invest In Midwifery Training|
|Wednesday, 09 May 2012 12:47|
On May 5, each year, the world celebrates a group of professional people who are critical to women’s health in particular and health delivery in general.
The idea of celebrating the annual event, known as the “international day of the Midwife,” was initiated by the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) following suggestions and discussion among member associations in the late 1980s.
The day is celebrated throughout the world to raise awareness about midwifery to motivate policy makers to implement change by providing resources and resources and recognition of the unique role midwives play.
The day is also to celebrate the achievements of midwives in improving maternal and neonatal mortality and offer an opportunity to reflect on Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s) 4 and 5, which respectively relate to reducing child mortality and improving maternal health.
This year, the launch of Ghana’s celebration of the day was held at Krobo Odumase in the Eastern Region under the auspices of the Ghana Registered Midwives Association (GRMA), which is a member of the ICM, which is a member of the ICM, on the theme: “Midwives save lives-Invest in Midwifery.”
The First Lady, Dr (Mrs) Ernestina Naadu Mills, who is a crusader for maternal health in the country, as well as many other stakeholders, was presents. She said she was optimistic that Ghana would achieve the MDG 4 and 5 by 2015 if all stakeholders worked together.
Midwives in Ghana provide essential health services to pregnant women at antennal clinics and postnatal clinics to both mother and babies, provide reproductive healthcare services, as well as several communities where no other health facilities exist.
They have been trained in modern skills and therefore are competent in handling pregnant women and their unborn babies with professional care and touch.
In Ghana, it is estimated that out of the 71 per cent of pregnant women who receive antenatal care, only 51 per cent receive skilled delivery at a facility supervised by trained midwives. The rest go to Traditional Births Attendants (TBA) not because of their skills but because their services are readily accessible in every community in the country.
Statistics from the Ghana Health Service (GHS) show some reduction in maternal mortality ratio from 740 per 100,000 live births in 1990, to 590 in 1996 with a further reduction of 540 in 2000, to 451 in 2005 and finally to 350 in 2010. The 2010 MDG report maintains that the trend falls short of the 5.5 per cent annual decline required to achieve the MDG target of 185 per 100,000 by 2015.
The President of the GRMA, Mrs Joyce Jetuah, reiterated that inadequate number of midwives in the country, obsolete infrastructure and equipment and non-existence of good referral systems had been the challenges facing midwifery and thereby impacting on maternal health.
She said more than 50 per cent of the estimated 600 health workers who went on retirement each year were midwives and therefore appealed to the government to invest I midwifery by training more tutors who should in turn produce more midwives and institute incentives to attract midwives to the rural areas.
Mrs Jetuah said if all their concerns which bordered on the fundamentals of the services they provided were met, Ghana would be able to meet the 2015 MDG target to the admiration of all because no mother would die in the process of giving life.