Call for expanding community midwives program in Sindh

Karachi : Program Manager Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health (MNCH) Sindh Dr Sahib Jan Badar on Thursday underlined the need for removing the social barriers in the society to further enhance the role of community midwives (CMWs) program to reduce maternal and infant mortality rate in Sindh province.

Talking to the PPI, Dr Sahib Jan Badar said MNCH Program was started in 2007-8 with aim at to produce skilled birth attendants called community midwives (CMWs). She said 1365 women were trained under this program so far against the target of 1916. She informed the training of 900 CMWs is also under way.

She said 1365 trained midwifes are working in the field and performing deliveries at their homes where they have set ups equipped with necessary birth related instruments. She said midwives were provided with a comprehensive kit from MNCH to attend the women at their birth station.

She said low literacy rate and social barriers are biggest hurdles to extend the MNCH Program in far-flung areas of the province. She said it was government’s responsibility to increase literacy rate and remove social hurdles to achieve desired goals.

She said the MNCH administration keeping in view the current situation of Tharparkar has decided to establish ten Under-5 clinics for children for less five years of age. She said these clinics would be established with collaboration of UNICEF and USAID Program in Taluka Hospitals, District Headquarter Hospitals and Rural Health Centre.

Dr Sahib Jan said that the initiative of community midwives was the backbone of the MNCH Program and the government’s aim was to reduce maternal and infant mortality. She informed that midwives were being trained to perform deliveries individually, promote health awareness, identify danger signs during delivery, provide care and family planning counseling and maintain a database at her work stations.

She said community midwives are trained and licensed to provide medical care during normal pregnancy, labour and delivery to the mother and baby in their respective areas. She said a CMW could easily cover around 5000 population in area. She informed that 89 trained midwives were discharging their duties in different areas Karachi.

She said government has established 26 new schools of midwifery so far in province. She said each midwife receives Rs3500 stipend during the training from MNCH and Rs2000 monthly stipend during duties after their appointments.

She said major problem was to find educated women candidates from rural areas for training. She stressed the need of increasing the number midwives 600 to 700 to reduce the infant and maternal mortality during the pregnancy.

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