Nurses, midwives offer free medical services to IDPs
THE National Association of NigeriaNurses and Midwives (NANNM) has blamed the shortage of midwives among the main causes of maternal and child mortality.
The Association has also appealed to midwives to see their work as humanitarian service and stay wherever they were posted to. And as part of activities to commemorate this year’s International Day of the Midwives, nurses and midwives have offered free medical services to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Abuja.
Vice President of NANNM, Margret Akinsola, who spoke when the Association went on medical mission to the IDP camp in Durumi yesterday, stressed how the IDPs in the Federal Capital Territory lacked what it takes to live a worthy life.
She said: “They are not well fed; and even lack access to basic healthcare services. We decided to come here to give them succour in area of health. The purpose of this is for them to feel the impact of the midwives.”
She listed some of the challenges facing midwifery in the country to include inadequate midwives in health centres, poor remuneration, housing, transportation and employment opportunity to skilled midwives.
“Nigeria is meeting the target needs of midwives needed in the nation by 97% in the area of maternal and child health but unfortunately where are these midwives? They are not employed,” she noted.
She decried the massive exodus of skilled midwives from countryside to the towns, blaming the situation on lack of basic amenities and medical equipment in rural health centres.
“In a situation where a midwife does not find what to work with, she would be discouraged to work. We appeal to government to not only erect structures but also equipped them. Representative of one of the partnering organization, Wellbeing Foundation Africa, Mrs Felicity Ukoko, said access to midwives varies considerably across sub-Saharan Africa, including Nigeria, with rural communities bearing the brunt of the inequality of access.
Ukoko stressed how only 40 per cent of Nigerian women gave birth with a skilled birth attendant present. “Investing in fully equipped health facilities would enable skilled midwives to offer full range of services and save lives of the thousands of women and babies who die each year from preventable causes related to pregnancy and child birth.
Government should give automatic employment to those who have the skills as possible solution to the insufficient midwives. More midwives mean more lives would be saved,” she added. Hundreds of nurses and midwives offered the IDPs free antenatal, postnatal and family planning services after which drugs and food items were presented to them. Speaking, Aisha Muhammad from Gwoza, Borno State, who spoke on behalf of the IDPs in Durumi, thanked the midwives for bringing the medical services to them.