Midwives Unsung Heroes In Fight Against Maternal, Infant Mortality In Nigeria – NPHCDA

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The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has acknowledged the vital role midwives play in reducing maternal and under-five mortality rates in Nigeria.

Executive director of NPHCDA, Dr Muyi Aina recognised the tireless efforts of midwives during a press conference on International Day of the Midwife. This day, celebrated on May 5 every year, highlights the contribution of midwives in safeguarding the health of mothers and young children globally.

Maternal and under-five mortality rates continue to be a significant challenge in Nigeria, with the country accounting for about 20 per cent of the global maternal deaths. Despite efforts by the government, health care professionals and international organisations, the numbers remain high. In this light, midwives play a pivotal role in reducing these alarming statistics.

As essential healthcare providers specialised in pregnancy, childbirth, newborn care and postpartum health, midwives offer routine reproductive services such as pelvic exams, ‘pap’ tests and birth control counselling. They work closely with obstetricians and gynecologists (obstetricians/gynaecologists) in hospitals and provide full antenatal care in Nigeria, including clinical examinations, screening and identifying high-risk pregnancies. Midwives also monitor women and support them during labour, childbirth and postpartum recovery. Additionally, they educate new and expectant mothers on infant care practices.

The theme for this year’s International Day of the Midwife is “Midwives: A Vital Climate Solution.” The theme highlights the essential role midwives play in healthcare and climate resilience. Midwives, as guardians of women’s sexual and reproductive health, play a vital role in crafting resilient health systems capable of withstanding the impacts of climate change.

The NPHCDA extends heartfelt appreciation to nurses and midwives nationwide, recognising their indispensable role in healthcare delivery. As the nation commemorates International Day of the Midwife, it urged Nigerians to express gratitude to nurses and midwives for their invaluable contributions to the overall health of the Nigerian population.

Midwives are not just healthcare professionals; they are also advocates for policies that integrate midwives into climate action planning and invest in sustainable midwife-led care models to address climate change’s impacts on health. Public health experts emphasise that climate change is the greatest health challenge of our time, significantly impacting women and babies. Midwives, as frontline responders during climate disasters, deliver safe and environmentally sustainable health services.

To honour their contribution to healthcare, the NPHCDA urges Nigerians to celebrate and acknowledge midwives’ efforts on International Day of the Midwife. The organisation also called for investment, resources, autonomy and inclusion of midwife care in health system planning for climate resilience in Nigeria.

With the ‘Renewed Hope’ agenda aimed at enhancing the health and status of women and children in Nigeria, midwives play a vital role in ensuring this agenda’s success. Midwives, as frontline responders during health crises, are an integral part of the healthcare system. Their contribution to healthcare delivery cannot be overstated and they deserve recognition and support.

The NPHCDA acknowledged midwives as unsung heroes in the fight against maternal and under-five mortality rates in Nigeria. Midwives’ holistic approach to healthcare delivery prioritises natural methods during pregnancy and childbirth, making them an essential part of the healthcare system.

As we celebrate International Day of the Midwife, it’s important to recognise the invaluable contribution midwives make to the health and wellbeing of mothers, newborns and families nationwide.

Racheal Abujah
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