Clinical Research and the Shortage of Midwives in Northeastern Nigerian Primary Health Care Centres

Editor’s note: This article first appeared in Midwifery Today, Issue 132, Winter 2019.Join Midwifery Today Online Membership A major global health challenge is the reduction of maternal and newborn deaths. In Nigeria, women of childbearing age face immeasurable hardship, violence, and the prospect of death. This is a huge challenge, with conflict raging across the northern part of the country. We undertook a study to determine whether there were sufficient numbers of midwives working in primary health care (PHC) centres of Northeastern Nigeria. Globally, midwives are working hard to turn around the high maternal and newborn death rate and make good health more than just a wish. Together we can save lives.  Midwives Play an Important Role in Guaranteeing Good Health of Mothers and Babies Women in Nigeria face one of the highest maternal death rates in the world during pregnancy, childbirth, and related complications, with over 800 maternal deaths per 100,000 or about 58,000 deaths in 2015, according to the World Health Organization (WHO 2019). Most deaths involve bleeding (antepartum or postpartum), hypertension (preeclampsia/eclampsia), obstructed labour, and infections (WHO 2019b).  The shortage of midwives contributes to the poor state of maternal and child health care in northeast Nigeria, especially in rural areas. Conflict has also aggravated this situation, with health facilities either destroyed or badly damaged and many health workers being forced to flee. Millions of people have fled their homes and are presently in need of life-saving assistance. The three most affected states in Northeastern Nigeria are Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa. TABLE: Distribution of selected PHC facilities and midwives according to four LGAs in Yobe state LGAs Number of PHC Centres Number of Midwives Damaturu 13 20 Gujba (conflict area) 9 4 Fune 19 6 Gulani Armed conflict zone 1 The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) estimated that… Read more…. Clinical Research and the Shortage of Midwives in Northeastern Nigerian Primary Health Care Centres

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About Author: Anna Ishaku

Anna Ishaku is a midwife from Borno, Northeast Nigeria. She is happily married to Jerryking Y. Balami and is blessed with two beautiful daughters, Jochebed and Joanna.

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