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Health News of Thursday, 7 May 2020

Source: Ghanaian Times

We deserve to be in category of frontline professionals – Registered Midwives to govt

The National Association of Registered Midwives, Ghana (NARM-GH) is urging government to include midwives in the category of health professionals in line to benefit from announced coronavirus (COVID-19) incentives.

According to the group, midwives are also frontline staff in the containment and management of disease in the country and are equally exposed to its associated risks as other health professionals.

Speaking to Ghanaian Times in Accra yesterday, Greater Accra Regional President of NARM-GH, Leticia Atiah, said the work of midwives was such that preventive protocols including social distancing could not be observed by practitioners, thereby exposing them to the risk of COVID-19.

The interview was on the occasion of this year’s International Midwives Day, marked annually on May 5 to recognise and celebrate the work of midwives.

This year’s event was on the theme ‘Celebrate. Demonstrate. Mobilise. Unite; Our Time is Now’.

“The work of midwives is such that we cannot practice social distancing. Midwives always come into contact with persons whose status, in terms of COVID-19 we do not know. This means that we are at risk like all other health professionals. And since we are taking this risk, we must be considered frontline staff too. We want government to come clear on the decision,” she added.

The group, she added, was ready to engage government on finding amicable solutions to their concerns which would go a long way to help Ghana’s fight against the virus.

Madam Atiah noted that, currently, two midwives have been infected with the disease while several others have been quarantined awaiting results for tests.

She explained that the situation, which has impacted negatively on the already-limited midwives in the country, put enormous pressure on active ones in dealing with rising maternal emergencies.

She urged government to, as a matter of urgency, address complaints regarding shortages in personal protective equipment (PPE) at health centres in particularly rural areas to help curb spread of the disease.

“PPE are what protect us and all other health professionals from the risk of the disease. Without, we are exposed and when that happens, our health system will crumble. We therefore urge government to provide more PPEs at all health centres,” Madam Atiah stated.

She advised midwives to use the PPE effectively as prescribed to protect themselves and their patients and take care of pregnant mothers as vulnerable people in the wake of the pandemic.

The Greater Accra Regional president congratulated all midwives in the country and urged them to remain committed to helping to achieve zero maternal and neo-natal mortality.

“As you have demonstrated throughout your work, be bold and do not be scared of COVID-19. Let us continue to work against maternal deaths and protect our mothers and babies. We should unite and remain under one umbrella to work towards our goals,” she added.

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