21 May 2017

Ethiopia: Ministry Lauds Midwives Role in Reducing Maternal Mortality

Photo: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
A chart in the health outpost is used to track pregnancies, childbirths, and diseases in the community. This information is then passed along to health organizations, providing the government with more accurate statistics (file photo).

Ministry of Health lauded the indispensable roles of midwives in improving nationwide maternal health care as the 25th International Day of Midwife and the foundation of Ethiopian Midwives Association celebrated.

Speaking at the occasion Ministry Maternal Health Advisor Dr. Abdurahman Ismael said the concerted effort of midwives and stakeholders helped the country achieve one of the Millennium Development Goals reducing the maternal death by 71 percent.

Aside from maternal health improvement, family planning service has been increased from 5 to 36 percent within the past 15 years, he noted.

Dr. Abdurahman said: "The ministry is the midst of implementing its set goals in GTP II aiming at ensuring quality and accessible maternal health care across the country."

According to him , the ministry is also working with various universities to enhance the professionals' skills. "For instance, Gondar University is a pioneer University in constituting midwifery under its medical curriculum. "

Therefore, the reporter approached Gondar University Medical Science Dean Dr. Sisay Yifru. He told him that the country is now doing well in producing qualified health professionals through implementing license exam after the day of graduation.

As a pioneer university in offering midwifery courses forty years ago, the university has been lecturing professionals that would support to improve maternal health nationwide.

Currently, he said that the university is teaching about 1,000 midwifery students under its continuing , undergraduate and postgraduate programs. In addition, it would begin lecturing midwifery in PhD soon.

It is also working in producing empowered midwives through delivering extensive practical and theoretical courses and evaluating the graduates upon the completion of the training.

A skilled midwife is very important to the development countries such as Ethiopia which has large community with absence of accessible maternal health care services.

For her part, Ethiopian Midwives Association Vice President Midwife Azeb Admasu noted that midwives have a lion share behind the enhancement of country's maternal health.

Midwifery is a critical health care unit that supports maternal health under prenatal and postnatal cares, family planning and safe abortion services among others, she said.

According to Azeb, her association is playing its role in empowering professionals and providing services through its branches across the country.

According to the association, there are 11,000 midwives in the country.

The 25th International Day of Midwife was observed on May 5, 2017 themed: "Midwives, Mothers and Families: Partners to Life!"

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