About 43 students, comprising 27 females and 16 males, are expected to graduate from the Midwifery Training Program - South Eastern Region, on Saturday, May 20. The upcoming ceremony marks the 11th graduation exercise and will be held at the school, located in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County.
A press release quotes the chair of the graduation program committee, Wede Williams, saying the students will be awarded diplomas in Midwifery following three years of studies at the institute.
Madam Williams describes this year's graduation ceremony as significant, "Because it will coincide with the official naming program of the school in honor of the late Deanna Kay Isaacson, ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) Missionary to the Lutheran Church in Liberia from 1966-2000. Deanna was seconded from Christian Health Association of Liberia (CHAL) to the Ministry of Health (MOH) to establish the school, and served there as the program developer, working with the MOH and partners to establish and manage the school."
Grand Kru County Health Officer Dr. Augustine Fannieh will serve as guest speaker. The occasion is expected to attract an array of high profile dignitaries and family members and friends of the graduates from the six counties making up the southeastern region.
The six southeastern counties are: Grand Gedeh, River Cess, River Gee, Sinoe, Grand Kru, and Maryland.
MoH established the Midwifery Training Program in the region in 1983 with support from the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) to address the acute shortage of trained health workers, especially midwives, in the southeast.
Prior to the outbreak of the Liberian civil crisis, the school had operated for seven years and already graduated 50 Certified Midwives.
It reopened in 2008 with funding to the MOH from the McCall-MacBain Foundation with the international NGO MERLIN as managing partner in collaboration with the MoH. The school has been graduating registered midwives since 2011 with the approval of the MoH and the Liberian Board of Nursing and Midwifery (LBNM).