Mrs Netta Forson Ackon, the President of the Ghana Registered Midwives Association (GRMA), has called for better and sustained remuneration for midwives.
She said the work of midwives was demanding and called for collaboration for better working conditions to take care of members even on retirement.
“The role of the midwife is so critical and unique, it is only by investing in them and monitoring the investment that government and all stakeholders would realise the good they would be doing to midwives and humanity at large.”
Mrs Ackon made the call when she addressed the opening ceremony of the 13th Scientific Conference of the GRMA at Bolgatanga, the Upper East Regional capital.
The conference brought together leaders of the Association from across the country and was on the theme: “Evidence from data to champion investments in midwifery; Monitor the investments for quality midwifery.”
The Association’s President said the theme had its bearing on the State of the World’s Midwifery Report, which was launched this year by the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) United Nations Population Fund ( UNFPA) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
She said a lot of data was revealed from the survey for midwifery practice, association, education and research.
“These are to form the blocks upon which midwifery will be addressed or managed. For us in GRMA, utilising the data for development is what we seek to achieve, hence the choice of the theme for the Biennial General Meeting.
“We believe that the various topics selected for discussion will serve to project data that is so much needed to improve on what we already have and aim at getting,” Mrs Ackon said.
Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboakye, the Director-General (DG) of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), who delivered the keynote address, said this year’s conference was “significant and profound, given the global challenges the world has encountered over the past one and half years.”
He said the theme for the GRMA conference fitted perfectly with the GHS’s drive to leverage science and data to guide its efforts towards the attainment of national and global health targets of Good Health and Wellbeing; riding on Universal Health Coverage.
On the issue of staffing, the DG said the GHS staffing norms, which provided the staffing requirements for each level of health facilities, was supplemented with the conduct of comprehensive human resource gap analyses in 2018 and 2020.
He said Ghana had not only met the WHO standard of 6-7 midwives per 1000 institutional deliveries but had surpassed the standard by almost two folds to 13 midwives per 1000 institutional deliveries.
He said the midwife to population ratio had also been declining steadily from 1:46,732 population in 2016 to 1:25,523 population in 2020, with gains recorded in the Northern Region, where there was a decline from 1:6,199 in 2016 to 1:2834 in 2020.
Mr Stephen Yakubu, the Upper East Regional Minister, said the collective voice for adequate investment should challenge the midwife to live by her calling.
“Often times, citizens have expressed concerns about sheer lack of passion by some midwives in the country.”
He said lackadaisical attitude to work and the lack of empathy for clients in need by some midwives painted a negative impression about the noble profession and called on the GRMA and regulatory authorities to rein in on such staff to maintain their long-held admirable reputation.