Bauchi - ''T-Ship'', a non-governmental organisation (NGO), has expressed concern over the shortage of midwives in public health institutions in Bauchi State.
Dr Halima Mukadas, the Deputy Chief of the organisation in the state, said this on Wednesday in Bauchi at a one-day workshop organised for stakeholders in the health sector.
"T-Ship", a Targeted State High Impact Project, is jointly funded by USAID and the Bauchi State Government.
It supports the state government in the training of manpower, provision of equipment and other materials as well as advocacy in the health sector.
She said that the workshop was organised by MAMAYE, a non-governmental organisation that supports "Mamas and Babies".
"We have shortage of human resources for health in the state, especially midwives. In some of our communities, they don’t have midwives, especially those sites that are called MSS sites.
"In our school of midwifery, we have permission from the Nursing and Midwifery Council to admit 50 and graduate 50 if we have the capabilities of those training, because they assessed those schools every two years.
"But as I am talking to you now, even if we admit those 50 that will have indexing, at the end of the day, we won’t graduate all the 50.
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"Maybe, some of them will have deficiencies along the way and we end graduating 20 to 25 per year and this is not near adequate.
"We are talking of one million pregnant women, that is the estimation, it’s even under estimated, we are talking of one million pregnant women to be served by how many graduating midwives, 50, it is not near enough."
According to her, the state government in collaboration with T-Ship has set up a Community Midwifery Scheme to address the shortage of midwives in the state.
She explained that under the scheme, indigenous candidates were recruited from various communities and posted back to those communities after their 18 months training to serve their communities as midwives.
Mukadas said that the state presently had 25 centres for the training of community midwives which, she noted, was inadequate.
"We should be able to build their capacities to conduct normal deliveries properly and be able to identify those deliveries that come with complications, so that they can give adequate referral.
"And it is not just to refer; we should also make sure we equip those referral centres with all the necessary things that make them referral centres.
"Thank God that government has established a bill to start up the school of Nursing and the School of Midwifery in the state, but up till now, these schools don’t have accreditations."
She said that most of the schools had yet to be accredited because of their inability to provide 70 per cent of the necessary requirements for the exercise.
According to her, it the schools are able to take off, it will go a long way in providing adequate health personnel for the sector.
She said that the organisation had been working with the state government since 2010 in the areas of service education and pre-service education in health related training institutions in the state.