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Government works on policy to set up independent midwifery board

by Staff reporter
30 Oct 2019 at 06:01hrs | Views
GOVERNMENT is working on a policy that will result in the setting up of an independent midwifery establishment with the view of having at least a midwife for every health centre countrywide.

In a speech read on his behalf by head of family health in the Ministry of Health and Child Care Dr Bernard Madzima at the 24th Zimbabwe Confederation of Midwives (Zicom) annual general meeting and scientific conference in Victoria Falls last week, Health Service Board (HSB) chair Dr Paulinos Sikosana said the country is worried about high mortality rates.

"As an authority, we are engrossed in ensuring that adequate members of well motivated midwives are available at all health facilities for the provision of quality maternal and neonatal services.

"Government long embraced the policy to ensure there is a midwife for even the hard to reach areas in Zimbabwe and the Ministry is working on the establishment of health posts in an effort to ensure universal health coverage.

"We continue to call on midwives and other healthcare workers to ensure no woman dies while giving birth. My office acknowledges having received Zicom's request for a separate establishment of midwifery posts and we will definitely work towards this request and use the report to ascertain the number of midwives needed at different levels of healthcare delivery system," said Dr Sikosana.

He said the reduction of maternal mortality to the current 525 per 1 000 live births was not enough as it remains higher than 70 per 1 000 live births.

Dr Sikosana said midwives are an important part of health force and greatly contribute to attainment of universal health coverage, as he commended the midwives for committing to the needs of expecting mothers during the testing economic times.

He said having at least a primary healthcare nurse at a rural clinic will be of high benefit to avoid referring pregnant women to central hospitals where they succumb because of distance and time taken.

"My office is working overtime to come up with measures that can alleviate these hardships in the health workforce while Government is constantly seeking measures to reverse the economic challenges that our country is facing," he highlighted.

He said the HSB is open to dialogue and suggestions from members and stakeholders with non-monetary compensation a likely option. The conference which started on Thursday and ended on Friday, ran under the theme: "Midwife leading the way for achieving equity and quality in universal health coverage."

Zicom president Mr Emmanuel Mahlangu said the association eagerly awaits the establishment as promised by the HSB.

"Such establishment will go a long way in ensuring adequate staff coverage in our essential maternity care units," he said.

Mr Mahlangu said midwives have endured trying times.

This has led to incapacitation as some midwives have been demotivated with some going to seek greener pastures, said Mr Mahlangu.

Source - chronicle