West Africa: Govts, private sector urged to invest more in midwivesJune 21, 2011
Governments, private sector and midwives in West Africa have been urged to invest more in midwifery to make the profession more attractive so as to get more people drawn to it.
Fredrica Hanson, Country Midwifery Adviser at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Ghana office, made the call after the publication of the first State of the World’s Midwifery report in Durban, South Africa on Monday.
The report confirms the critical role midwives play in improving maternal and newborn health and survival.
It called on governments to recognize midwifery as a distinct profession, core to the provision of maternal and newborn health services, and promote it as a career with posts at the national policy level.
The report also urged governments to ensure that midwifery and midwives are specified in costed maternal and newborn health plans, and aligned with human resources for health plans.
It called on governments to also invest in more training schools, well equipped with standard facilities.
But according to Ms Hanson, the onus to make the midwifery profession more attractive does not depend only on the government, but also on the private sector.
“We need to tap from the rich funds of the private sector to support government to increase midwifery training schools in our countries,” said Ms Hanson, adding “We should also ensure that the facilities at these training schools are upgraded.”
She said midwives themselves have to make the profession more attractive as it already has bad image in the sub region.
“In West Africa midwives have been tagged as having negative attitude towards their clients, which makes the profession non-attractive,” said Hanson.
“If we ensure we are nicer to our clients, interact more with our community and draw the community closer to us then we’ll make the profession more attractive and people will also like to be part of that profession,” said adds.By Harrison Akoh Tweet