Midwives Commit to Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Liberia

11 April 2017
A group of midwives during the International Day of the Midwife.
A group of midwives during the International Day of the Midwife

As part of the 2017 observance of International Day of the Midwife, the Liberia Midwifery Association (LMA) with support from UNFPA carried out series of activities to raise awareness on how midwives promote the health and wellbeing of women, newborns, families and communities, and help save lives of women and their newborns in case of obstetric emergencies.

The week-long activities ended on 5 May and included a scientific session for midwives, school visitation to promote midwifery as a noble career with young students and an indoor program to recognize the work of midwives in Liberia. LMA President Wilhelmina W. G. Flomo said the scientific session was intended to refresh and build the capacity of midwives in Liberia. Madam Flomo said it was important for midwives to be trained with the requisite skills and knowledge that would enable them to perform their duty professionally. “Once they are trained, they can contribute to the reduction of the high number of maternal mortality in Liberia;” she said. She called on midwives to always discharge their duty professionally.

Delivering paper on “Respectful Maternity Care,” Madam Comfort Wiles, challenged her colleagues to give care with respect. According to her, it is important for midwives to treat every patient equally and with respect, considering that a patient needs the help of health workers to recover. “When people come to the hospital with emotions, we as midwives need to calm them down rather than making their situation worse…we should talk to them in a way that will always encourage them to return to the hospital,” Madam Wiles said. Similar call was made on 05 May by Madam Marion Zubah, JHPIEGO Chief of Party when she served as keynote speaker during the indoor program held in Buchanan.

“It is your responsibility to always ensure safe delivery of women especially those who have come to the health centers;” Ms. Zubah told the gathering of the midwives who had come from across the country. “When a pregnant woman goes to the hospital and takes off her slippers and lie on that bed to give birth, you as midwives must ensure that she and her baby survive and are in good health to wear her slippers to go back home with her baby,” Ms. Zubah said.

She told the midwives that they must treat every patient especially pregnant women with respect and dignity in order to ensure that they are attracted to health facilities whenever they need medical attention. Madam Zubah also told the midwives that they are under obligation to accompany women through their pregnancy, childbirth and beyond. She underscored the need for midwives to ensure respectful maternal care to their patients which is key to reduction in maternal mortality.

The JHPIEGO Chief told the midwives to hold themselves in high esteem considering the job they do, adding “you are very important to the society. You play a key role in the health sector, as such, you must value and respect yourself.” For her part, Ms. Magbush S. SnohMiller who represented the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) said Liberian midwives play critical role in the health sector especially in the fight against maternal mortality, as such, they must be well trained and supported. Ms. Snoh-Miller recounted the numerous sacrifices midwives make in the discharge of their duty to help women bring forth lives. She assured the meeting of UNFPA’s continued support to Liberia Midwives Association.