Head of EU Delegation in Zimbabwe, Aldo Dell'Ariccia said the midwifery programme is one of the European Commission support to the Zimbabwean public health sector and local people.
"As part of the recognition for more qualitative health services the EU decided to support the "Accelerated Midwifery Training" programme at a cost of $2 million to ensure that at least 60 percent of nurses at any health facility are midwives," said Ariccia during the launch of Accelerated Midwifery Training programme at Murambinda mission hospital.
He said increase in number of qualified midwives is expected to lead to the reduction of martenal death, which currently stands at 960 per 100,000 live birth up from 555 per 100 000 live birth in 2006.
He added that the programme also aims at reducing the peri natal death.
"Qualitative midwives are key in an effort to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) to reduce maternal mortality ration by 75 percent compared to that of 1990, by 2015,"he said.
Ariccia said qualified midwives plays a critical human right role in providing women with information on their rights during pregnancy and issues related to HIV/AIDS prevention, care and mitigation and sexual productive health.
He said the EU has been consistent and engaged partner of Zimbabwe in the health sector for more than 10 years.
"We enjoyed a very close collaboration with the Ministry of Health even during difficult times, when the health system was near to collapse and our focus moved to responding to vital short term health needs rather than contributing to overall sector development,"he said.
He went on to say the EU has been playing a critical role in the training and retention of human resources in the country`s health sector.
"In particular, considering the high vacancy rate especially among nurses and environmental staff we supported the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare in the training and retaining of primary care nurses and Environmental health assistants as well as other critical staff of health system," he said.
He added that the country`s health sector was progressing towards stabilization and there was need to look at more qualitative health service for the population, especially the most in need, the women and their children.
Ariccia encouraged midwives to continue with their sterling work in reducing the unnecessary deaths of mothers and babies, in particular in rural areas where health facilities are usually limited.
"To further contribute to battle to the battle in reducing maternal mortality, the EU is also contributing to the revitalization of the Maternity Waiting homes in hospital, an intervention that will be implemented jointly with UNFPA,"said Ariccia.
There are 17 primary Care Nurses Training Schools that are taking part in the EU sponsored training programme to Up-skill primary care nurses in obstetric and maternity care. These include government and mission hospitals. The schools are located in all the eight rural provinces of the country.Post published in: News