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A Day of honouring midwives marked by UNFPA in Pakistan

A Day of honouring midwives marked by UNFPA in Pakistan
May 08, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Those who help women to become mothers and deliver their babies deserve a special day to celebrate themselves for saving lives and making childbirth a safe experience. Globally 5th May is marked as “International Day of the midwife” for highlighting the work of midwives. This year United Nation Fund for Population (UNFPA) Pakistan in collaboration with Midwifery Association of Pakistan has commemorated the International Day of Midwives (IDM), in line with the global theme of Quality, Equity and Leadership: Midwives leading the way with quality care”.

 UNFPA has been a strong supporter of midwifery globally since 2008, supporting midwifery programmes in over 120 countries. In Pakistan, UNFPA has been providing support to the MoNHSRC and the Midwifery Association of Pakistan to strengthen Midwifery Regulations and Education. The effective engagement of midwives in capacity building and midwifery led care are crucial to decrease maternal mortality and safe motherhood.

Leading midwifery voices from all over the country including FATA, providing their services as Midwives, were gathered at Marriott Hotel Karachi who shared their stories of successes and challenges while serving the community. Policy makers, UN agencies representatives, Government Officials were also present at the event.

At the event Ms. Ana Maria Leal-Programme Specialist UNFPA, spoke on behalf of UNFPA emphasized on the three strategic pillars of quality of care for mother and new borns, equal treatment of Midwives as skilled professionals and giving leading role in health care facilities to Midwives. Underscored further at the event by Ms.Leal “Women caring for women are suffering from gender penalty in the male dominant society are treated unequally. UNFPA will be focusing more on strategic education for midwives in Pakistan by involving open consultations with leader and policy makers to work collectively as network to bring genuine lasting change”.

Chief guest of the event Dr. Asad Hafeez, Director General of Minitery of Health said that the country needs more than half a million midwives to meet the current need of Pakistan’s populations’ health care and with the current schools and colleges for midwifery cannot produce enough of the midwives force in coming fifteen years. Expressing the ministry’s will to initiate the dialogue with stakeholders with the support of UNFPA, Dr.Asad said “The challenge can be overcome only by increasing the existing number of schools for midwifives and raising the standard of midwifery and nursing schools to BScM to bring them equal to the level of other professional graduates. Nursing Council and the Federal Ministry are cognizant of the fact that midwifery and nursing need upgradation and regulations”.

Highlighting the challenges of over increasing population, Dr. Adeela SRH Program Analyst  from UNFPA shared the alarming situation of huge vacuum at community level from their experience of working at KP and FATA where midwives are required to be trained for providing 90% of the health care at grass root level.

The community midwives also spoke at the event who came from challenging grounds where they were seldom exposed to any practices of health care during their certification courses and yet dealing the complicated cases of pregnant women and newborns, saving their lives as front line force for community, serving them day and night by providing health care at their door steps.

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