Zambia needs about 5, 600 midwives to adequately cater for maternal related cases in the country.
This came to light during the commemoration of this year’s International Midwives Day in Kasama yesterday under the theme ‘The World Needs Midwives Now than Ever Before’.
United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) Country Representative Duah Owusu-Sarfo says Zambia is facing a critical shortage of midwives.
Mr Sarfo said currently the country has 3, 226 midwives serving in various health institutions.
He explained that the shortfall in the number of midwives has resulted in expectant mothers and their newly born babies being at high risk of dying from maternal complications.
Mr Sarfo revealed that only 47 per cent of deliveries are assisted by skilled personnel with midwifery skills.
He however praised Government for introducing a training programme for midwives in the country.
Mr Sarfo observed that the move will help enhance maternal health situation in the country.
And officiating at the same function, Northern Province Acting Deputy Permanent Secretary Georgina Kasapatu said government is committed to recruit more midwives to meet the demands in public health institutions in the country.
Ms Kasapatu also thanked UNFPA and other cooperating partners for assisting the Ministry of Health in delivering quality healthcare to its citizens.
She said Government is determined to meet the Millennium Development Goals on health by 2015.
Ms Kasapatu implored the midwives to continue working hard in providing good care to patients despite the challenges they face in their daily operations.
The celebration to mark this year’s International Midwives Day, which falls on 5th May, every year, is the second one to be held in the country after the first one that took place in Lusaka last year.
Among those in attendance were Provincial Medical Officer Dr. Juliet Chiyonga, Chief Nursing Officer in the Ministry of Health Sarah Siyunda and Midwives Association of Zambia Chairperson Genevieve Musokwa.