Lofa County Senator, George Tengbeh has described Liberian midwives as heroes and heroines on the frontline to save humanity.
Senator Tengbeh said midwives are the first people on the frontline providing care to prevent deaths at childbirths. He wonders what could have happened to mankind, if there were no midwives.
He noted that midwives are precious jewels, who should be recognized and appreciated for their valuable contributions to society.
The Lofa County Senator referenced traditional birth attendants, who, according to him, are working days and nights to help prevent maternal deaths in rural communities.
Senator Tengbeh promised to advocate for increment in allotments for midwives during the 2018 national budget debate.
He assured midwives that although the budget prioritizes health, education and security, he will speak for midwives to get adequate salaries and other benefits.
The Senator frown on the lack of insurance for healthcare providers including midwives and emphasized that he would also push for that because they are making sacrifices despite the low incentives they are currently receiving.
“We will speak for you when Health Minister, Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah comes to the National Legislature to defend allotments made to the Ministry in the national budget,” he assured.
Senator Tengbeh gave the assurance at the celebration of International Day of the Midwives in Voinjama, Lofa County, on Saturday, May 5, 2018.
The International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) in late 1980s set aside May 5, each year, as ‘International Day of the Midwife’ to recognize and highlight the works of midwives around the World. The day was officially launched in 1992.
The 2018 celebration was held under the auspices of Liberia Midwives Association, UNFPA and USAID under the theme: ‘Midwives leading the way with quality care’.
The three day celebration attracted midwives, students of midwives training institutes and traditional birth attendants, who paraded the principal street of Voinjama on Saturday, May 5, 2018.
Prior to the parade and indoor program on Saturday, a scientific session was held on Friday, May 4, 2018 to update knowledge and skills in maintaining competence and proficiency in delivering quality care to mothers, their new born and family.
A team from Jhpiego headed by Specialist, Nancy T. Moses made a presentation on anti-shock garment, new method introduced to prevent women from dying in childbirth.
Anti-shock garment is a low-technology first-aid device used to treat hypovolemic shock. It is effective for reducing maternal deaths due to obstetrical hemorrhage. Obstetrical hemorrhage is heavy bleeding of a woman during or shortly after a pregnancy.
The anti shock garment session was interactive and presenters entertained questions from midwives following the screening of a video on the procedure.
The scientific session also witnessed experience sharing on post partum hemorrhage management, post partum family planning, managing severe pre-eclampsia and eclampsia using Mgso4 as well as helping baby breath.
A long serving midwife and former president of the Liberia Midwives Association, Lucy W. C. Barh, was certificated and gowned for her contributions to the growth and development of the association and midwifery in Liberia.
Marion Subah, Chief of Party of Jhpiego lauded Madam Barh for helping to improve midwifery in the country.
Madam Subah presented a certificate and robe to a proxy of Barh and disclosed that the former midwifery president was not at the program because she is bereaved.
Five other midwives were also honored and certificated for the tireless contributions to the profession.
A Representative from UNFPA, Dr. Rosette Namulindwa, promised UNFPA continued support to midwifery in Liberia and said all the three mandates of the UN agency relates to midwives.
She praised Liberian midwives and said they are exceptional from their colleagues in other countries where she has worked.
Dr. Namulindwa lauded training schools for teaching midwives who are performing excellently well at their areas of assignment.
Liberia Midwives Association President, Wilhelmina W. G. Flomo, lauded partners for sponsoring the program and thanked the midwives and traditional birth attendants for gracing the celebration in Lofa.
Madam Flomo encouraged midwives to always remain professional despite the lack of insurance and low salaries they continue to receive.
She reminded her colleagues that “this is the profession we chose anyway”.
Madam Flomo called on policymakers to ensure that midwives are adequately compensated for the jobs that they do.
The three-day event was climaxed with sporting activities and a thanks-giving service held at Liberty Church in Voinjama on Sunday, May 6, 2018.
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