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The Zimbabwe Confederation of Midwives has commended Government efforts on maternal and child health, which they said have yielded positive results in the reduction of women and children’s deaths.

In a statement released in commemoration of the International Day of the Midwife yesterday, ZICOM president Mrs Lilian Dodzo said noticeable progress has been made over the years.

“In recent years, the Government and its partners have made remarkable efforts to increase the number of practising midwives through equipping midwifery training schools and increasing intake of students,” said Mrs Dodzo.

But she said some of the nurses continued to leave the country for greener pastures.

Mrs Dodzo called on Government to continue investing in initiatives that retain and attract midwives to stay in the country.

“We, therefore, call on Government and stakeholders to continue investing in midwives, including putting in place a retention strategy and making sure that midwives are adequately resourced to carry out their duty,” she said.

ZICOM said belated commemorations of the day will be held in June.

According to the UNFPA 2014 State of the World Midwifery Report, midwives who are educated and regulated to international standards can provide 87 percent of essential care needed by women and their new-born babies.

Midwives care for women during pregnancy, labour and after birth, ensuring safe deliveries and providing essential care for new-born babies, especially in their first week of life.

According to the 2010 census report, the number of women who die while giving birth in Zimbabwe has gone down from a high of 1 086 per 100 000 live births in 2002 to 525 deaths per 100 000.

In a joint statement, United Nations agencies directly involved with women and children’s issues commended Government for progress made towards attainment of Millennium Development Goals on maternal and child health.

The agencies called on Government and relevant stakeholders to increase the number of competent midwives and ensuring that health facilities are well equipped to handle emergencies such as blood transfusion, Caesarean sections and new-borns resuscitation.

The International Day of the Midwife is commemorated on May 5 each year worldwide and this year’s commemorations are running under the theme “Midwives: For a better tomorrow”.

ZICOM said belated commemorations of the day will be held in June.

Source : The Herald