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Minister commends midwives for being brave amidst COVID-19

By Geoffrey Mutegeki

Added 9th May 2020 03:49 AM

Midwives are at the frontline of fighting coronavirus as they save mothers, ensure women rights and sexual reproductive rights are protected.

Minister commends midwives for being brave amidst COVID-19

State Minister for Primary Health Care Joyce Moriku Kaducu (L) chatting with one of the Midwives at Mulago Women and Neonatal Specialised Hospital on May 5

Midwives are at the frontline of fighting coronavirus as they save mothers, ensure women rights and sexual reproductive rights are protected.

HEALTH  COVID-19

The state minister for Primary Health Care, Joyce Moriku Kaducu, has applauded midwives in Uganda for being brave and courageous in continuing to save lives of mothers and babies.

Midwives are at the frontline of fighting coronavirus as they save mothers, ensure women rights and sexual reproductive rights are protected.

"You are the real heroes of this nation. Despite the risk of coronavirus, you have continued to save lives. Thank you very much," Kaducu said during celebrations to mark the International Day of the Midwives.

 

 
The day meant to honour the life-saving work of midwives was celebrated at a scientific event held at Mulago Specialized Women and Neonatal Hospital.

She decried the increase in maternal deaths a result of the failure by mothers and health workers to access health facilities due to transport, and closing down of antenatal care services in some facilities.

"The deaths have more than doubled because mothers are unable to move and some health facilities closed antenatal care services which are important," Kaducu said.

While at Mulago, Kaducu also toured the specialized women hospital and asked midwives and health facilities to priorities antenatal care services since government has eased the movement of pregnant mothers.

"Open antenatal care. Be brave, and continue to be courageous. We understand the challenges you go through sometimes saving lives on empty stomachs. We shall address them one by one," Kaducu says.

She also challenged midwives, to protect themselves during this pandemic.

"As you save mothers, first save yourselves. Think of your lives first in this period of the pandemic. The use of a face mask, gloves makes a very big difference," she said.

 

 oyce oriku aducu having a word with some of the idwives                                            Joyce Moriku Kaducu having a word with some of the Midwives

 
The president of the National Midwives Association (NMA), Annette Evelyn Kanyunyuzi, urged the midwives to continue serving the nation with one heart.

"Despite Covid-19, you have remained at the station, passionately working and serving to save the mothers.  Midwives are not driven by anything but passion. You find midwives going without lunch or pay to ensure that a mother is safe," Kanyunyuzi said.

Per Lindgarde, the Ambassador of Sweden to Uganda while addressing the midwives noted that COVID-19 is making the work of the midwives even more challenging this year. 

"Although the lockdown in Uganda has been challenging in many ways, we still need to make sure that the women and expectant mothers come to the health facilities for their antenatal care, deliveries, Family planning and immunization for their children," Lindgarde said.

He called for support of midwives with Personal Protective Gear (PPE's), specialized training on COVID-19, transport to and from their workplace and also where and when possible offer support to their families so that the midwives, can leave their homes without worry, to go and perform their best at work where they are crucially needed. 

 

 
"The midwives being at the frontline, in many cases first point of contact with patients, it is important that we all support them," Lindgarde says.

According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) representative Alain Sibenaler, midwives are the backbone of maternal health systems - delivering babies and much more. 

"This crisis is an opportunity for all of us to do more to support midwives' efforts to uphold the sexual and reproductive health and rights of all women, everywhere," Sibenaler said.

He commended the midwives, for their work which has contributed to reduction of the maternal mortality ratio from 506 deaths per 100,000 live births to 336 deaths per 100,000 live births between 2001 and 2016. 

"It is worthwhile to celebrate the heroic and life-saving work that midwives do every day, often in very trying circumstances like the COVID situation," Sibenaler said.

However, he said that much more needs to be done to reduce the maternal mortality ratio further in the quest for global and country targets and aspirations.

 

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