TAMA urges students to take up midwifery profession
Dr Sebalda Leshabari said that journalists should not only report about midwives who misbehave while providing service to expectant mothers, but also promote the public and other stakeholders to work with midwives.
“We want to encourage youths in secondary schools to take science subjects to venture into midwifery and beef up the shortage,” he explained.
Dr Leshabari said the International Day of Midwifery is an opportunity to educate the public on the importance of working with midwives in providing health service to pregnant women.
TAMA Coordinator Martha Rimoy said expectant mothers and their infants are very important to midwives. She said in health centres where there is scarcity of professional midwives, one midwife can attend to a large number of cases, which includes helping the expectant mothers while attending to those attending their clinic appointments.
According to Tanzania’s latest demographic and health survey (2010), only 51 per cent of deliveries are assisted by a trained professional and four midwives are available for 10,000 patients countrywide. It is estimated that 536,000 women worldwide die of maternal causes, along with 11,000,000 children under five, of which 4.4 million are newborns. The majority of these deaths occur in Sub Saharan Africa.
Maternal and newborn health care in Tanzania faces many challenges, including a critical shortage of adequately skilled maternal health service providers and constraints around uptake of, and access to these health services due to barriers that include distance to the nearest facility, lack of affordable transport at the time of labour, and obtaining skilled and affordable care upon arrival at a health facility.
TAMA Secretary General of Dr. Sebalda Leshabari (left) with Leslie Carnahan at the Center for Research on Women and Gender of Muhimbili University of Health at Allied Sciences in Dar es Salaam.