Stakeholders in the health sector has called upon policymakers to recognize midwifery as a profession distinct from nursing.
While establishing a formal career structure for midwifery that would also equip them with improved training techniques to ensure their safety and security, and provide for incentives.
This was the crux of discussion at a meeting organized by the Well Being Foundation to mark the International Midwives Day Celebration in Lagos.
Toyin Saraki, the Founder-President of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa and Global Goodwill Ambassador for the International Confederation of Midwives, said it is incumbent to advocate for the whole-system support to enable and elevate midwives as the key defenders of women’s rights in Nigeria, and around the world
“It is important to improve the working condition and delivery of midwifery services.
Midwives are champions of women’s rights; but can only be effective if their rights are also secure. This includes the right for every midwife, and all health workers to decent work and a safe and dignified workplace.”
“Saving lives does not mean a midwife should risk her own. Sadly, as we all know, in the past year we have lost selfless Nigerian midwives. Too often midwives also suffer ‘burnout from long hours carrying out a complex role, combined with the lack of basic infrastructure or professional support to deliver high-quality care.”
Many rural midwives represent the sole point of access to health care in remote and under-served areas. It is our first duty to keep the care-givers safe.” she added.
According to her, the importance of midwives in improving maternal, infant and child health outcomes cannot but be emphasized.
She noted that midwifery is fast becoming an endangered profession, with fewer professionals opting to work as midwives due to a lack of career structure.