Mid wife
Mid wife

The National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, is set to deploy 433 basic Midwives to rural communities for the Midwives Service Scheme, MSS.
At a Flag-Off Orientation and Documentation of Basic Midwives held in Abuja Friday, the Acting Executive Director of NPHCDA, Dr. Emmanuel Odu who declared the two day event open said that the fresher basic midwives were on a mandatory one year service delivery in Primary Health Care facilities in communities across the country to .
Speaking to newsmen, Odu said that the basic midwives have to undergo a mandatory service delivery service which is in partnership with the Nurses and Midwifery Council of Nigeria.
Odu said, ‘’ There is a partnership arrangement whereby the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria and NPHCDA for any new midwife to undergo a mandatory service delivery initiative just like the compulsory NYSC for graduates from the University.’’
‘’This is to deploy them to health centres in various communities to get experiences by improving health service delivery, through caring for mothers, children and the vulnerable in our communities.’’
He said that the 443 basic midwives is the first batch to be dispatched to health care facilities in rural communities, but that the programme targets a total of 1,900 across the country.
According to the NPHCDA acting boss, the basic midwives are a transition for the MSS programme.
He said, ’’We are actually transiting from our famous MSS programme, by design the MSS programme was to transit into state ownership and to a great extent many of the states have absorbed many of the midwives into their regular staff, they have become their members of staff under the employments of the various states and some cases local government areas.’’
He disclosed that the basic midwives would be deployed to those places where they can work with adequate drugs and commodities and other infrastructure like water, sanitation and hygiene, adding that government is prioritizing one health facility per ward where they can work.
He said that the team of basic midwives are expected to compliment health service providers on ground at primary health care facilities for improved health delivery.
It is only at the end of this that the midwives would be given their licences and it starts now. It is a new phenomenon and it is encouraging, Odu said.
Director, Primary Health Care Systems Development, Dr Nnenna Ihebuzor said that the new basic midwives would be trained on how to work in communities through the ward development committees on how to save lives of newborns and mothers at the point of delivery.
Ihebuzor said, ‘’ If you invest in a midwife who is going to provide skills at the time of birth, she will save the life of the woman, make sure there is no still birth and make sure that we don’t lose a newborn child.’’
She said, ‘’The main issue we had with the MSS is posting people from different parts of the country, people getting culturally acclimatized but now we are going to be posting these basic midwives close to where they trained and in their states using monitoring tools for supervision and mentoring of the programme, adding that the orientation of the midwives includes mentoring and monitoring where every they are posted.
Dr. Nneka Muoghalu from the NPHCDA, in a presentation on Overview of Midwives Service Scheme in the country in a situation analysis said that each year in Nigeria 33,000 mothers die, three quarters of which could have been prevented with existing health interventions.
Speaking further she said that 946,000 children under age five die and 241,000 newborns die yearly, 70% of which could have been prevented using existing health care packages.
While calling for urgent action for the situation she noted that 1 million women and children die in Nigeria each year, which means that 3,000 deaths per day and 2 per minute.
She noted that the MSS was expected to close the gap in poor skilled attendance at birth, poor facility delivery, poor immunization coverage, high maternal, neonatal and child rates and mal-distribution of midwives and other health workers.

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