As the county joins the rest of the world to celebrate the International Day of Midwives, the World Health Organization has called for the respect of midwives for the valuable contribution they are making in the health system.
Figures from the WHO show that 53% of African midwives have reported feeling disrespected by fellow health workers in the course of their work.
The WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti is now appealing to governments to invest in midwifery development from education to practice with appropriate regulatory frameworks and support materials.
He says such support is imperative to improve health outcomes for women and infants.
This year’s celebrations are running under the theme “Midwives with women: celebrate, demonstrate, mobilize, unite,” which emphasizes the importance of mobilizing communities and maintaining the provision of essential health services, particularly as countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the African Region, between 2000 and 2017, maternal and newborn deaths have declined by 40% in the African Region, thanks largely to the commitment of midwives working with other health professionals.