By Asma’u Ahmad
The Wife of the President, Mrs. Aisha Muhammadu Buhari has pledged to collaborate with Nurses and Midwives in their quest at reducing maternal and neonatal death to the barest minimum in the country.
Mrs. Buhari gave the assurance at the commemoration of the International Day of the Midwife on in Abuja.
The event was organised by the United Nation Population Fund (UNFPA) with the theme ‘Women and Newborns: The Heart of Midwifery’.
Represented by Wife of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mrs. Gimbiya Yakubu Dogara, Aisha Buhari commended the midwives for their crucial role in ensuring survival of women and new born.
However, she said that the goal of neonatal and maternal death reduction can never be attained without the efforts of skilled midwives.
According to her, empowering midwives through constant education and skills will in a long way assist them to render quality services as well as meet global best practices.
She further noted that the development of a nation depend on the strength of midwifery service; adding that everyone alive today resulted from the efforts of skilled midwives.
Mrs. Buhari identified some of the challenges faced by the midwives to include lack of capacity building, infrastructure development and enabling environment, among others.
She however, challenged them to always put in their best and be compassionate in saving lives in spite of all odds to bring the needed change in any situation they find themselves.
“Midwifery is an honourable profession that cannot be equated with others, so every midwife must believe in herself and have compassion to save lives. Nigeria is in a state where things are not working; but if you believe that you have a seed inside of you that will bring the needed change do not hesitate to do it.
“I will partner with you to see that maternal death is brought to the barest minimum in Nigeria because without your help the goal cannot be achieved. We own existence of humanity to the midwives, so we will do everything possible to ameliorate their plight as this will aid them in rendering the needed quality services,” Mrs. Buhari said.
Similarly, Chairperson, National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives, Mrs. Margret Akinsola, defined the midwife as somebody that has skills to take care of woman during pregnancy, birth and post-partum period.
Speaking on the topic; ‘Women and newborn the heart of midwifery,’ Mrs. Akinsola blamed the increasing neonatal and maternal death rate in the country on limited number of skilled manpower.
She further described midwives as crucial in the nation’s quest to address the menace; adding that they are best partnership to pregnant women, families and the nation in general.
Mrs. Akinsola appealed to government across board to ensure automatic employment of midwives on completion of their programme.
She said: “Government across board need to invest in midwives education as this could yield in return on investment in terms of lives saved and cost of Caesarian session. Such investment will guarantee less preterm birth, less interventions during labour and shorter stays in hospital, among others.