The Ministry of Health (MoH) through the Ghana Health Services (GHS) has announced its intention to post midwives to all community-based health planning service (CHPS) compounds across the country as part of efforts to address maternal and neonatal mortality.
Task sharing has also been introduced for community health nurses to enhance the accessibility of midwifery services at all CHPS zones across the country.
Health Minister Kwaku Agyemang-Manu indicated that midwives are pivotal to the transformation and quality care provision by anchoring primary and community care while ensuring that access to midwifery services are at the doorsteps of the community.
He said the ministry since 2014 has reduced the midwife to women in reproductive age population from 1:1,374 to 1:720 in 2017, representing 52 percent improvement.
The achievement, he stated, is significant due to a number of deliberate policy interventions put in place over a decade, adding that the ministry is poised to improve the figures going forward.
Mr Agyemang-Manu made this known at the national launch of the International Day of the Midwife in Kumasi.
The day, which is set aside every year to celebrate midwives event, was organised by the Ghana Registered Midwives Association (GRMA) with support from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) on the theme: ‘Midwives Leading The Way With Quality Care’.
Dr Jemima Dennis-Antwi, Regional Representative for Anglophone Africa of the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), urged the government to revisit the concept of midwife entrepreneurs running their own maternity homes and promote a scheme that would encourage young midwives to own their own maternity homes to improve access.
She said the ICM would continue to champion high-quality work and excellence among members in the performance of their duties to ensure mothers and their babies receive the best of care.
“To do this, the ICM seeks to strengthen midwives associations globally and advance the profession of midwifery by promoting autonomous midwives as the appropriate caregivers for women of childbearing,” she stated.
Niyi Ojuolape, Country Representative of the UNFPA, pointed out that every woman deserves access to quality care during pregnancy and childbirth.
He said midwives do more than just delivering babies, as they provide more than 87 percent of all sexual and reproductive services, including caring for mothers and babies throughout pregnancy and childbirth.
Netta Forson Ackon, President of GRMA, lamented the poor conditions under which midwives work and called for urgent steps to be taken to resource health facilities, especially those in rural communities.
She entreated the media to take a keen interest in the work of midwives and highlight the challenges they face daily for the attention of policymakers.