Retain midwives to avert maternal deaths, govt told PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 22 December 2016 17:39

A call has been made for the government to put in more incentives to retain midwives if the country is to avert maternal and neonatal deaths.

The country's maternal death rate had dropped 36 percent since 2009 to 614 from 960 deaths per every 100 000 live births yet the country is still regarded as having one of the highest rates of maternal deaths globally.

This and other issues came under the spotlight during this year’s Zimbabwe Confederation of Midwives 21st Scientific Conference and annual general meeting held in Harare.

Speaking on the sidelines of the conference, president of the association Dr Lillian Dodzo said government has established a midwifery training school in every province but the country is still facing a shortage of midwives.

Most government hospitals do not separate midwives and general nurses and this has seen midwives being allocated nursing duties in general wards.

Some of the midwives who attended the conference from different provinces of the country say they are witnessing unnecessary deaths in the labour wards which can be averted.

Despite the country's high maternal mortality rate, Zimbabwe is regarded as one of the countries that produce highly qualified midwives which are sought after in many neighbouring countries and even abroad.

Midwives trained in the country are getting exposed to the latest technologies as well as world class teaching materials and resources, says Dr Judith Chamisa, a lecturer at the National University of Science and Technology.

Delegates who attended the conference were in agreement that the country’s policy has largely changed and has become more supportive, hence the decline in the maternal mortality rate.

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