Midwives feel neglected

Zimbabwe Confederation of Midwives

GOVERNMENT has been urged to improve the welfare of midwives in the country so that they are recognised as skilled labourers.

The calls came as the world yesterday commemorated the International Day of the Midwife.

Zimbabwe’s midwives are reportedly wallowing in poverty despite providing childbearing services. They also work under difficult conditions, a situation worsened by the brain drain.

President of the Zimbabwe Senior Hospital Doctors Association Nyasha Nyaguse said midwives were crucial to Zimbabwe achieving sustainable development goal (SDG3) on reducing maternal mortality.

“They are the backbone of providing safe childbearing services.  Unfortunately, the industry is losing skilled midwives in droves to other countries due to untenable working conditions. We urge the responsible authorities to look at improving their working conditions to enable midwives to offer the much needed services to the women of Zimbabwe,” Nyaguse said.

Zimbabwe Nurses Association president Enock Dongo said: “There is nothing much to celebrate because midwives are in poverty and are working in a very dangerous environment due to lack of proper resources. We encourage government to look into the welfare of

President of the Zimbabwe Confederation of Midwives Obert Nyatsuro said: “The developed world has the advantage of being better resourced and are now taking the vital midwives to practice as general nurses. Such deprivation of human resources needs to be looked at globally on a human rights perspective for equity.”

The country still records high maternal mortality rates of 462 deaths per 100 000 live births, which can be avoided if there is adequate skilled labour, drugs and equipment.

The COVID-19 pandemic saw a sharp rise in maternal deaths as pregnant women battled to access the few available health centres.

A month ago, Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals reported that its maternity wing, Mbuya Nehanda was overwhelmed, forcing authorities to create floor beds.

The 2021 State of World’s Midwifery report by UNFPA stated that fully resourced midwife-delivery care by 2035 could avert 67% of maternal deaths, 64% of new born deaths and 65% of still births, and save 4,3 million lives annually.

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