|Zimbabwe faces shortage of midwives — Governor|
|Saturday, 02 June 2012 22:07|
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Sunday News ReporterTHE Governor and Resident Minister of Bulawayo Province Ambassador Cain Mathema has expressed concern over the exodus of midwives to other countries leading to the reduction in the number of skilled attendants in local hospitals.
In a speech read on his behalf by the district administrator for Bulawayo Central Mrs Fungayi Kunziwalela last week during the belated commemoration of the International Day of the Midwife running under the theme, “The world needs midwives now more than ever”, Cde Mathema said midwives were facing a number of challenges that were a hindrance in achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
“Hospitals that are expected to give support to the pregnant mothers are also faced with a number of challenges such as the exodus of midwives to greener pastures leading to brain drain and reduction in the number of skilled attendants.
“There is a shortage of resources for use on women and children. This demoralises the care provider in general and midwives in particular who have to deal with the lives of two people at a time — that is mother and baby,” he said.
He urged couples to exercise their reproductive health rights, encouraged effective use of modern family planning methods and promote abstinence among teenagers in order to promote and sustain safe motherhood.
“As a community and nation, women and couples should be able to exercise their reproductive health right — that is the right to make informed choices. There has to be effective use of modern family planning methods to avoid unwanted pregnancies. According to statistics carried out in 2010-11, the under five years mortality rate is 70 per 1 000 live-births among those who space for three years compared to 148 deaths per 1 000 live -births among those who space for less than two years.