Midwives call for training, employment opportunities
The Midwives Association of Kenya (MAK) has called for the training and employment of more professional midwives to close the gap in the ratio of midwives to maternal population, with the view to bolster access to quality midwifery services in the country.
Speaking at the ongoing MAK’s Annual Scientific Conference in Mombasa, MAK Chairperson Teckla Ngotie said, proper investment in midwifery services will help reduce the maternal mortality ratio in the country, which currently stands at 355 deaths in every 100,000 live births.
With the current shortage of midwives, Ngotie says on average one midwife attends to between six and 10 women in the delivery room, a situation she says has a negative impact on the quality of services and the supposed outcome.
The midwives according to the MAK chair are forced to work for long hours, further noting a majority of them suffer backaches resulting from working with their backs bent for long.
“In Kenya, we say we need one midwife to be in charge of one expectant mother in labour and once the mother delivers, she will need an additional midwife so they should be two… currently we know one midwife attends to up to 10 women in labour or delivery rooms depending on where they work. This endangers the lives of mothers because midwifery is a continuous process,” Ngotie said, noting the need to have more midwives who have the necessary skills and competencies to provide solutions.
On her part, Head of Nursing and Midwifery Services in the Ministry of Health Dr Judith Awinja, said with the current maternal mortality ratio, Kenya is on the right trajectory as far as maternal health is concerned.