UNFPA: Lack of Skilled Midwives Worsening Maternal, Child Deaths in Nigeria

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Paul Obi in Abuja

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) on Thursday blamed the high rate of maternal and child mortality in Nigeria on the lack of well trained midwives to man health institutions and ensure safe delivery.

The UN agency also stressed that unemployment among midwives remains another critical challenge confronting the nation’s health sector.

This was made known at the inaugural International Midwifery Conference in Abuja. UNFPA warned that apart from the neglect of trained midwives, most young girls in Nigeria no longer show keen interest in midwifery profession as they did in years past.

This came as Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole, stressed that midwives were important to realization of health agenda of the federal government.

Represented by Director, Human Resource Management in the ministry, Mrs Didi Jack, the minister stated that plans are underway by government to guarantee availability of 10,000 wards in the country which would lead to employment of more midwives.

Resident Representative of United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA, in Nigeria, Ratidza Ndhlovu while making her presentation explained that “teachers in many midwifery schools in the country are ageing, and on the verge of retirement.

Ndhlovu said: “We need strong institutions, schools of midwifery should be funded by government to meet global standard.

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