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Outstanding midwives awarded

By Geoffrey Mutegeki

Added 6th December 2018 11:12 AM

The midwives who were awarded were selected following a national nomination process and deliberations by district, regional and national award committees.

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The midwives who were awarded were selected following a national nomination process and deliberations by district, regional and national award committees.

Some of the midwives showing off their awards. Photos Geoffrey Mutegeki


REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH


Twelve midwives from different health facilities in the country have been recognised by the Swedish government for their outstanding contribution towards the health sector.


The 12 include; Christine Agwang , Susan Nakami, Anite Joyce, Ketty Akullo, Mary Karungi, Evas Tokoreki and Grace Bachira.

Others are Grace Amito-Chan, Frances Nantabazi, Specioza Nagronsa, Josephine Nandago, Betty and Namugosa. Each of the awardee received a certificate of midwifery excellence during a ceremony held at the Swedish Ambassador’s residence in Kololo on Tuesday.

The midwives who were awarded were selected following a national nomination process and deliberations by district, regional and national award committees.

  midwife after being awarded A midwife after being awarded

 
The Minister of Health Jane Ruth Aceng said, these stood out for their resilience in helping mothers deliver safely amidst challenges including poor pay, lack of necessary equipment, and moving long distances to work.

“For a long time we have not appreciated midwives and this token from Swedish government is an eye opener for government to start appreciating midwives,” Aceng said.

He acknowledged that the working conditions for midwives are still poor and pay is low but says this doesn’t mean they shouldn’t work hard.

“The government of Uganda reorganises the importance of midwives and we really appreciate the midwives especially the ones working in upcountry facilities where the conditions are wanting,” Aceng noted.

She revealed that reorganising midwives goes a long way in improving service delivery.

“We have lots of complaints from the population; midwives are rude, not available, beat mothers which is bad. We have all the opportunity to rebuild this image,” she added.

The Ambassador of Sweden to Uganda Per Lindgarde, said midwives play a key role in maternal and new born health, as well as for healthy families.

“They make the difference between life and death for new born babies and their mothers. For this, they deserve our heartfelt respect and recognition,” Lindgarde says.

He revealed that midwives are central for empowerment, particularly for women’s empowerment.

“With this price, it is our hope that all awarded midwives will continue to find inspiration and motivation to carry out the tremendously important work that they do – and be role models for other midwifes and students in their districts, regions and in Uganda as a whole,” Lingarde said.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) representative Alain Sibenaler commended the Swedish Embassy and Swedish Midwives Association who since 2015 have been awarding Uganda’s midwives.

 eft to right  omen representative axime ouinato  representative lain ibenaler and ealth inister ane uth ceng during the awarding ceremony Left to right: UN Women representative Maxime Houinato, UNFPA representative Alain Sibenaler and Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng during the awarding ceremony

 
“We stand in solidarity with midwives in reorganising their life saving work often in difficult conditions. There is no stronger testament to their care and commitment than the number of babies they tirelessly deliver,” Sibenaler said.

According to UNFPA, seven out of 10 women in Uganda now deliver with assistance from a skilled birth attendant usually a midwife.

Sibenaler called for measures to improve the midwife to patient ratio to help reduce burn out of already overburdened workforce.

“It is estimated that in Uganda, a midwife delivers between 350 and 500 mothers a year yet WHO recommends that midwives should deliver not more than 175 mothers a year,” Sibenaler said.

 In 2015, Sweden launched a successful global campaign called midwives4all to highlight the important role midwives play in maternal health.

During the campaign Uganda was the first country in the world to introduce a midwives4all award for “Excellence in Midwifery and Outstanding Contribution to Maternal and New-born Health”.

The Embassy has since continued awarding midwifes annually and this is the 4th year they are recognizing midwives in Uganda. 

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