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Train midwives in Madagascar to fill dangerous gaps in mothers’ health care

“It wasn’t until I stood with my classmates in the delivery room that I encouraged my anxious mother to give birth to a little boy that I realized how valuable this job was.”

For 24-year-old Tahiana Rakotobao, her lifelong dream of becoming a midwife came a step closer to reality during her studies at the Madagascar Emergency Medical Institution (IFIRP) in the capital Antananarivo.

Regarding her hands-on experience, she recalled: Upon examining the patient, the midwife realized that the baby was in the breech position and that the feet were facing the birth canal rather than the head. “

Breech birth can cause life-threatening difficulties for both mothers and babies, so it is imperative that an experienced midwife assist. Madagascar currently has one midwife per 7,000, less than half the WHO recommended minimum.

This serious shortage threatens the safety of new and pregnant mothers, with an average of seven women and three teens dying daily in Madagascar due to complications associated with pregnancy and childbirth. increase. Because many women have access to or cannot afford quality maternal care, less than half of all births are done by skilled health care workers and 60% are births.

Learn to correct imbalances

Each year, approximately 30 students are enrolled in a three-year midwifery training course at each of Madagascar’s six public institutions. There are more than 100 accredited private training schools for midwives, but the quality of training can be difficult to assess due to the non-standardized curriculum.

Since 2018, UNFPA has been working with the government to support training programs for more than 800 midwifery students in three public and one private schools, helping graduates qualify for international standards. increase. Students have improved access to classroom learning materials through rehabilitated laboratories, supply of anatomical models, and an extended digital library with a wide range of customized online courses.

Liliane Ravelnarivo, chief training services at IFIRP, says that while much has been done to improve the situation, the needs are still staggering. Students lack equipment such as computers and high-speed internet connectivity, but newly qualified midwives have few opportunities to find employment after graduation. “The government program hired midwives directly from national training schools to civil servants, but with the reduction in funding, midwives have to find their own jobs,” Ravelnarivo explained.

Midwives save lives

Despite the difficult circumstances, another final year student at IFIRP, Domoina Andrianjanahary, 23, says she witnessed the plight of the woman giving birth and stimulated her ambitions. “I would like to open a clinic in my home village, about 120 kilometers from the capital, to support the most vulnerable access services such as prenatal care, contraception and vaccination. Women live in remote areas with no nearby medical facilities and often cannot go to the hospital on time, endangering the lives of both mothers and babies. ”

To date, UNFPA has supported the hiring and placement of 157 midwives in 52 emergency obstetrics and neonatal care centers and 13 primary health centers in remote and difficult-to-reach areas of Madagascar.

Distributed by the APO Group on behalf of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

Train midwives in Madagascar to fill dangerous gaps in mothers’ health care

Source link Train midwives in Madagascar to fill dangerous gaps in mothers’ health care

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