Appreciating midwives on day in their honour
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Cape Town - More investment and support for midwives are needed to ensure their role extends far beyond childbirth.
On International Day of the Midwife, Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo addressed midwives at the Mowbray Maternity Hospital on Wednesday.
“On this day, we have to appreciate and acknowledge midwives. The theme for International Day of the Midwife is ‘Follow the Data: Invest in Midwives’. This focuses on several areas, making sure that you appoint as many, at least you know there will be a reduction in maternal deaths and antenatal deaths will be tackled,” she said.
Speaking on her experience as an advanced midwife, Mbombo said: “We used to deliver for women where they’ve never been to a hospital or a clinic. We used to conduct all of these visits in KwaZulu-Natal at the time.”
“We have just seen now with Covid-19, maternal deaths have increased. Women dying during childbirth has increased hence we have to make sure that we look also at other services that are related to improve the health of women,” said Mbombo.
These include abortion services, contraceptive services and family planning.
Mbombo said midwives could assist in identifying cases of gender-based violence and reducing teenage pregnancies, through community education and engagement.
Representatives from Cape Peninsula University of Technology, University of Cape Town, University of the Western Cape, the Western Cape College Of Nursing, and the Society of Midwives of South Africa were present.
UWC lecturer at the School of Nursing, Laura Tengeh said: “The focus should be on supporting the midwives. It's not only about the PPEs, salaries, but also about their social well-being. Facilities and hospitals can provide more support like sending staff on retreats, and giving them leave when it's due.”
Tygerberg Hospital with the Tygerberg Hospital Children's Trust, held an event in honour of midwives.
Operational Manager and midwife at Tygerberg Hospital, Sr Allereace Steer began as a midwife in 1984 in the maternity ward at the hospital.
“Women and their families have an essential right of access to midwives and health professionals to be able to equip the pregnant women, to support them with respectful individual quality care throughout their life journey. The midwives’ presence signifies the importance of unity for mothers and newborns whose lives are forever changed by the care of the midwife,” Steer said.