Midwives as Game Changers

No doubt, the role of qualified health professionals, especially midwives is important. Many deaths around the world are said to be easily preventable if there are better access to these professionals, and that is why Toyin Saraki, International Confederation of Midwives Global goodwill ambassador, has reiterated that they be tagged Game Changers.

Toyin Saraki

Toyin Saraki

Delivering a keynote address at the 60th annual meeting and exhibition of the American college of nurses, titled: The Midwife as a Game Changer – Why Midwives must be at the Heart of the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals, Saraki, who is also the president and founder, Wellbeing Foundation Africa, emphasised the critical importance of midwives in overcoming social determinants of maternal and child health, not just in Nigeria, but across the globe.

Through her foundation, she said, “we have placed midwives at the centre of our policies since we began our work over a decade ago. We did this because Nigeria has a long tradition of midwifery, with a vibrant, active community of dedicated midwives that have worked tirelessly to transform the health of their patients. We saw that Nigeria’s midwives had an unparalled understanding of community health needs and community sensitivities, and we worked closely with them to develop our interventions.”

It would be noted that in Nigeria alone, 53,000 women lose their lives every year from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth, while approximately 2,300 under-five children and 145 women of childbearing age, die each day. This unfortunate statistic accounts for 13 per cent of all global deaths of children aged under-five and 14 per cent of global maternal deaths, placing Nigeria as the second largest contributor to maternal and child mortality rates worldwide. All of these she said can be preventable, and one of the ways is to adequately empower the midwives and encourage access to them.

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