The President of the Ghana Registered Midwives Association (GRMA), Mrs Ernestina Djokotoe, has called on midwives, particularly those in the private sector, not to stay in the confines of their workplaces only to provide health care services, but must also visit patients in their homes to render services to them.
She said that would help improve maternal health care, ensure the survival of new-born babies and also reduce the estimated seven million maternal deaths that occur each year.
Mrs Djokotoe said "every minute a woman dies somewhere in the world and many more are left disabled due to pregnancy related complications because they lack access to skilled midwifery care."
She made the call at the launch of this year's International Midwife's Day. The theme for the celebration was: "Midwives-Reach Out to Women Wherever They Live."
Mrs Djokotoe recalled the early 1980s when private sector nurses carried health care to people in their communities and even travelled to remote areas to render outreach services. She reiterated the need for midwives to revisit the past and render services to all.
Mrs Djokotoe said currently, there were about 2,810 practising midwives in Ghana, but only 500 had registered with the GRMA, with 82 per cent in private practice.
She urged midwives in the public sector to register with the GRMA.
Mrs Djokotoe mentioned some problems facing the GRMA as their limited number which did not enable them offer better medical services.
She also cited shortage of midwives in the rural areas as one of the problems they were facing and therefore appealed to the government to help address the problem.
Mrs Djokotoe also urged non¬governmental organisations and donor countries to renew their assistance to the GRMA by supplying them with basic equipment.
The Senior Medical Officer in-charge of the Tema Polyclinic, Dr Mrs Sally Quartey, reiterated the need for midwives to look beyond the narrow confines of pregnancy and delivery and to broaden their care to include areas such as nutrition, general health, education as well as early marriages and their effects.
She urged the midwives to be committed to their work by providing quality health care services to women in need and by observing the ethics of their profession in the performance of their duties.
Culled from Daily Graphic