UNFPA has alarmed over the rapid growth in mortality across the Globe. The Resident Representative of UNFPA in Liberia Dr. Oluremi Sogunro said statistic has proven that more than 303,000 women and girls died from maternal mortality across the Globe yearly.
Ministry of Health
The UNFPA’s boss said the issue of maternal mortality in Liberia and world at large remains a major challenge.
Dr. Sogunro speaking at the launched of the project rebuilding maternal & newborn health services in post Ebola Liberia on recently said since 1990, there have been 45% reductions in maternal death across the world, but more than 800 women die every day due to pregnancy and childbirth, according to him, 99% of these deaths take place in developing regions.
He believed that Midwives can help avert over two thirds of maternal and newborn deaths and disabilities thereby calling on government and others to support midwives to end preventable maternal mortality.
Dr. Sogunro said in order to enhance the work of midwives in Liberia; there is a need to improve the health facilities across the country.
He said the UNFPA in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Johnson & Johnson will work in ensuring that maternal death rate is reduced in Liberia.
Dr. Oluremi Sogunro noted that midwives are the back-bones to healthy family and maternal health and their works need to be given serious attention to safeguard the lives of women and children in Liberia and the world at large.
He further mentioned that to ensure the reduction in maternal mortality and improve maternal health care, there should be empowerment for women, improved health facilities, quality care pregnant women and new born babies among others.
He named the objectives of the project into three categories to Inform, everyone with an interest in maternal and newborn health that midwives are crucial to promoting maternal, newborn and adolescent health and in reducing maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity, Celebrate the achievements of midwives and their contributions towards improving sexual, reproductive, maternal, and newborn health outcomes, Motivate policymakers to implement conducive workforce policies and an enabling environment for midwives to practice their profession in recognition of the unique professional role that midwives play.
The UNFPA Liberia Resident Representative however revealed that the Rebuilding Maternal and Newborn Health Services in Post Ebola Liberia project which is launched has three phases of which phase one targets the Western region of Liberia, Grand Cape Mount, Gbarpolu and Bomi Counties.
He disclosed that the three level mentorship agenda has been designed to institutionalize mentorship from central level to county and from county to health facility level.
He indicated that the central level master, 50 mentors were trained with complementary funding, the master mentors identified and trained county level mentors as well as 45 County mentors in both counties were trained in mentorship for maternal health.
Dr. Sogunro furthered that these county level mentors have initiated shoulder to shoulder mentorship in relevant maternal health activities in targeted health facilities as well as in facilities outside of the project target locations.
He said with Support by senior midwives at the Liberia Midwifery Association in collaboration with the Liberia Board of Nursing and Midwifery, the family health division of the Ministry of health, the Liberia prevention of maternal mortality and UNFPA, and the county level mentors have successfully mentored 86 skilled birth attendants in both counties.
Phase II of the project has two major objectives as follow; 1: Support improved licensure processes for midwives to ensure continuous professional development: 2: Strengthen Health facility mentorship program in midwifery skills and support midwifery students. Phase II is intended to continue mentorship in the three counties while attempting to work with the Liberia Board of Nursing and Midwifery to strengthen midwifery licensure, it has been initiated on January 1, 2018 with duration of 18 months.
A third phase of the project currently under consideration is focused on Gender equality in the health workforce, continued professional development for midwives and continuation of mentorship for maternal health in existing targeted counties.
He maintained that in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, UNFPA in partnership with Johnson and Johnson, UNFPA will continue system strengthening for maternal health in Liberia.
Also speaking at the occasion, co-chair on House’s committee on Health and Nimba County district three Representative Joseph Somwarabi pledged the House of Representatives support to midwives in the country through budgetary allocation to the ministry of health.
He assured the midwives that the house will give it full support to ensure the enhancement of professional duty in the country.
“I can assure you that the House of Representatives will support you in term of enhancing your job as midwives in our country” Rep. Somwarabi said.
Representative Somwarabi said the practical performance of the mentorship midwives is an encouraging factor that worth more allotment through budgetary allocation.
The Nimba County lawmaker who is also a pharmacist and Public Health Technician promised to better explain and convince his colleagues to pay keen attention to health sector which will empower the midwives.
He thanked the UNFPA, Johnson & Johnson and ministry of health for the initiation of such program and term it as a very important component in reducing maternal mortality in the country.
The Liberian pharmacist, health technician, Nimba County Lawmaker and House’s Co-chair on health Committee noted that the house will attach importance the health care delivery system of the country
For her part, Liberia’s Health Minister Dr. Willimena Jallah lauded the midwives in Liberia and termed them as Maternal and Newborn health services.
Dr. Jallah noted that the ministry of health is devoted to seeing a change in the maternal health care in Liberia.
She added that there is a need for government to strengthen all health facilities to adequately cater to pregnant women and new born babies. “We need to look at and work communities’ dwellers to help report to the health facilities pregnant women to enhance our work” Min. Jallah said.