The free health care initiative for pregnant women, lactating mothers and under-five children has averted the celebration of World Midwives Day.
This is as a result of the work load on the midwives since the inception of the free health care.
In an interview with the President of Sierra Leone Midwives Association, Mrs. Elizabeth Decker she said, the day means a lot to them because its gives reflections on what midwives are doing in the country.
“We have planned to celebrate this Day, but unfortunately President Koroma’s initiative has averted it”, she says.
She added that, this initiative belong to the midwives, therefore they must ensure that it is properly implemented in a way that the beneficiaries will benefit from it.
The President reiterated that, it is the role of the midwives to educate the beneficiaries on what to do as they are the first person to come in contact with the women.
To be honest Mrs Decker noted that, midwives have been marginalized for a long time in Sierra Leone, because of lack of logistics support.
Highlighting further, she explained that, with the intervention of CORDAID and ICM they have rescued them in terms of trainings.
“One of the constraints we are facing is lack of promotions and recognition”, Mrs Decker said.
The President stressed that, without midwives we will not be able to reduce maternal mortality by 2015, adding that, there are only 35 trained midwives in the country serving thousands of women, but with complementing efforts from the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Aid to the midwives they have been able to do their work.
However, she averred that there are some parts in the country without midwives due to logistical support, adding that they have spoken to other midwives to maintain this initiative. She advised the younger midwives that they should listen, look and learn from the older ones going out now and not to use midwifery as a stepping stone.
Mrs. Decker said they have succeeded in collaborating with the Midwives association in Netherlands to boost them Sierra Leone. She thanked CORDAID and ICM for saving them from sinking and said the Sierra Leone Association of Midwives was formed in 1961.