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Repositioning Nursing and Midwifery Education in Nigeria - News - Nurses Arena Forum

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Repositioning Nursing and Midwifery Education in Nigeria by katty : May 08, 2018, 11:03:58 PM
Last weekend, midwifery practitioners in Nigeria joined their counterparts in over 50 countries to celebrate this year’s International Day of the Midwife (IDM).

The umbrella body of the practitioners, the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), decided to set aside a day to celebrate its members at a conference held in the Netherlands in 1987. Three years later, it marked the first IDM on May 5, 1991 with the theme: “The World Needs Midwives Now More Than Ever”.

The theme for this year’s celebration is “Leading the way with Quality Care.” Available statistics from the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) show that over 350,000 women die annually during pregnancy and childbirth, while more than three million babies do not survive the first month of life with 2.5 million dead on arrival. Of this number, Nigeria accounts for 40, 000 women annually, while between 800, 000 and 1.2 million others are left with permanent disabilities.

All these misfortunes are caused by a number of factors, one of which is the dearth of qualified midwives at delivery points. It is more than two and a half decades ago when the global awareness of the importance of the caregivers was created. But the impact of the professionals has not been quite significant on Nigeria’s health sector in recent years.

T is can be attributed to the overall neglect which midwifery education has suffered. Therefore, the IDM should always serve as a wake-up call to authorities in the health sector to be more alive to their responsibilities. There is no gainsaying the fact that the midwives, to a large extent, determine the survival or otherwise of newborn babies.

They are the first line of caregivers for the babies and the mothers at the point of delivery. They spend more time with the patients with the implication that the knowledge and temperament of this category of professionals are critical in the overall healthcare management system.

There is always need for training and retraining in order for them to hone their skills and improve on their knowledge in the fast changing world of medical science.

In view of the position they occupy in the ladder of the healthcare delivery system, it goes without saying that this group of health care workers needs all the attention and training they can get to make them efficient and up-to-date in their chosen career. It is sad to note that for several years now, many schools of nursing and midwifery in most parts of the country have been left in a state of disrepair and neglect.

Most of them lack basic teaching facilities, adequate and qualified teachers as well as adequate funding. This has affected the morale and self-esteem of both the teachers and students with the attendant result that available health institutions in the country do not have enough midwives and nurses who are two sides of the same coin. Even where they are available, the poor teaching makes them deficient in many curricula of present-day practice.

This means that government at all levels needs to take midwifery and nursing education more seriously as both are indispensable to the existence of a reliable and modern healthcare delivery system. Schools of Nursing and Midwifery should be well-funded and staffed by committed and wellpaid professionals. It is heartwarming to note that like in other climes, nursing and midwifery education is now taught in universities.

This development will make it possible for the profession to attract some of the best students as in other popular arms of the healthcare delivery system like medicine and pharmacy. Continuous education through seminars, conferences and workshops should also be made available to upgrade and refresh those in the profession in order to reduce infant, child and maternal mortality, currently at unacceptable high levels in the nation’s health sector.

The celebration of the IDM will remain a mere ritual and a waste of energy and time in this country if the critical issues raised above are not addressed as a matter of utmost urgency by the relevant authorities.·
Source :Blueprint

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