This is a first of its kind for the people of Maprik to witness the commemoration of this internationally recognised day.
International Midwives' Day is celebrated every year to commemorate and increase awareness about the contribution of the midwives towards patients; it is celebrated to highlight the importance of their role played in contribution to the health of their nation.
Although the event falls on the 5th of May, midwives in the district hospital were adamant to commemorate this day today due to crowd movement.
The midwives and nurses were joined by students from Maprik Admin Primary School as well as volunteers, including police officers as early as 6am yesterday morning – donned in purple – the staff, children and volunteers had a thirty minute walk around the town, starting from the Hospital.
Leading Midwife Rhondy K’tumasi said this day is a very memorable one as it is very important for awareness to be carried out, and considering Maprik Hospital which serves as a centre point for many rural areas in almost seven districts, it was a worthy act on their part.
She added that it is imperative that the public be made aware of the importance of procedures and courses of action to be taken during, before and after pregnancy.
“Infant mortality is a major cause of death, and most mothers are un-booked, coming to antenatal clinic very late due to many issues, including difficulties in transportation; one very major concern was mothers with STIs who are not diagnosed and treated early, leading to difficulties in childbirth and causing stillbirths,” she said.
She added that as a midwife serving for over 15 years, she has witnessed many avoidable and minor issues that lead to deaths and difficulties during pregnancy and childbirth due to the lack of awareness, especially in rural villages and areas, and it saddens her.
There needs to be more investments and other necessary actions taken to build upon process and clinics as well as awareness programs that may save many lives and avoid preventable deaths.
The event also saw staff members, including nurses, make awareness under their respective sections.
A lone serving community health worker in the family planning section, Kamiso Karo, said despite the many challenges, including the closure of the main hospital, she has been the only nursing officer in that section which is very challenging at times.
She says hopefully throughout this weeklong event, the message may be carried across to families on the importance of family planning.
The commemoration began with the walk and public speaking and will continue with different activities, including awareness on radio, until the 5th of May, Sunday.