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Listen to the Ugandan Midwife Outcry By Hadijah Nakatudde - Articles - Nursearena Forum

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Listen to the Ugandan Midwife Outcry By Hadijah Nakatudde by Peculiar005: Wed Dec 2021 04:31am
I had the opportunity of enjoying a beautiful Halloween experience away from Uganda for the very first time this year. when i found myself at main street Woburn on October 31, I didn’t think much of it until my hostess explained that it was the best location for the annual Halloween celebration in that part of the state. The streets were alive with human activity: men, women and children eagerly waiting to watch the parades of those that lived, while they enjoyed the achievements and history of the departed.

The “what midwives want campaign” by White Ribbon Alliance has amplified the voices of midwives from various regions across the country and created a platform through which midwives can raise issues affecting their service delivery. This campaign was derived from the what women want champaign where the request for more midwives was one of the highest.

In a bid to improve the quality of midwifery services in the country, it’s important to know what’s hindering our midwives from doing their work diligently and respectfully. With the Covid-19 restrictions, the campaign was conducted using a phone call survey but still at the other end of the phone, one would feel the pain and emotions as the midwives responded.

The demands range from inadequate pay, shortage of resources and supplies, delayed promotions, limited opportunities for career development, among others. Zaitun (not real name), a young midwife working at a health facility in a hard-to-reach district in Uganda, over emphasized the lack of enough supplies and equipment as the number one challenge keeping their hands tied and incapacitating them from diligently executing their midwifery work.

“We receive poor mothers who can’t even afford to buy a pair of gloves as needed to conduct a delivery yet I am highly committed to provide the best care to the woman”, Zaitun reported. Other midwives shared the plight and demotivation arising from not being promoted.

“It’s very painful to spend a lot of money to go back to school to upgrade and after you wait for over eight years to be promoted, if promoted, also comes at a cost and that’s why career advancement in midwifery is still low,” narrates one of the midwives that upgraded from certificate to diploma level.

Many midwives, especially from the east and central region, raised concern about the lack of an enabling environment, lack of supplies, equipment, enough lighting, and lack of enough beds.

Government and other partners should provide enough supplies because supporting midwives at the forefront of the pandemic is supporting women’s rights around the world. I stand with colleagues working in very hard-to-reach areas and continue to pray that they are supported and promoted to grow professionally and provided with resources that will ease their practice. We are nourished with hope that the results generated from this campaign will advance the midwifery profession on the global scale, promote autonomy among midwives and ensure healthy lives for the mother and baby.

Hadijah Nakatudde, Midwife/Midwifery Educator Secretary, National Midwives Association of Uganda

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