The Ministry of Health has commended midwives from the 10 administrative regions for their “invaluable service” to the health sector and has advised them about new strategies to improve maternal health.
The midwives were attending the 2013 annual Midwives Conference held at the Regency Suites on Friday.
According to a Govern-ment Information Agency (GINA) press release, the forum was held under the theme ‘Midwives: Improv-ing Women’s Health in Guyana’ and focused on highlighting proper health care practices with the aim of achieving Millennium Development Goal Five: ‘Improving Maternal Health.’
In his address, Minister of Health Dr Bheri Ramsaran told midwives that their service is invaluable to the health sector. He also stated that 500 more new doctors will be deployed into the health system and urged the midwives to assist in training them.
Ramsaran also said that the Maternity Ward Inspec-torate Unit will identify problems within the hospital in order to address them. The Unit comprises members of the Women’s Affairs Bureau, the Gender and Equality Commission, Red Thread and the Women’s Progressive Organisation, among others. Officers from the Unit make unannounced visits to the wards to ensure that guidelines are being met.
According to the minister, maternal mortality has been stabilised and he commended nurses who were called to go on emergency trips into the regions. He also lauded midwives who follow up on patients who flout medical instructions. Ramsaran noted that 99% of maternal deaths are caused by haemorrhaging and lauded the fact that the Blood Bank is ahead in its collection rate which helps with safe motherhood.
He also explained that the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation has been ‘twinned’ with the under-utilised West Demerara Regional Hospital to distribute the workload of nurses more evenly and to prevent overcrowding at the GPHC.
Meanwhile, Presidential Advisor on Governance and former Health Minister, Gail Teixeira, in her feature address, noted that the work of midwives work requires dedication and experience. She pointed out that experience was the most valuable of these skills and called on midwives to aim to further educate themselves in the field.
According to GINA, the seminar covered topics including cultural practices and beliefs in pregnancy and childbirth, respectful maternal care, maternal death audit and surveillance, ruptured uterus and malaria in pregnancy, bathing the infant and what is affecting midwives in the performance of their role and possible solutions.