By Sailu Bah
The National Association of the Gambia Nurses and Midwives (NAGaNM), with funding from the UNFPA, launched the State of the World Midwifery Report 2014 at the Atlantic hotel on Monday, 22nd December, 2014.
It was preceded by a March Pass led by the police band and participants from the NAGaNM membership, various departments under health, WHO, UNFPA, media and other stakeholders.
The vision of the report is working towards improving the Midwifery sector and to reduce Maternal Morbidity and Mortality now against 2030.
In officially launching the report, Mr. Omar Sey, the Minister of Health and Social Welfare, urged for implementation of the recommendations in the report. He also called for the creation of a conducive environment for midwives and the provision of adequate good equipment to enable them to deliver quality standard services in order to reduce the maternal morbidity and mortality rates in the Gambia.
The chairperson of the occasion, Mr. Famara Fatty, underscored the importance of launching the report which, he said, among other things, dwells on the responsibilities, achievements, challenges and the way forward. He said the report has an immense bearing on the lives, health and wellbeing of individuals, families and communities, adding that it will greatly influence national development.
“We hope this will mark the beginning of extensive and vigorous advocacy in turning more attention to the plight of Midwives and that of women in general,” said Mr. Lamin Marong, the NAGaNM President.
Mr. Marong gave a brief history of NAGaNM which, he said, was amalgamated in February 2004 into what became known as Nurses and midwives Association and eventually the National Association of Gambia Nurses and Midwives 2013.
The president of the association also dilated on the objectives, adding that it upholds the ethics of the nursing and midwifery profession as set out in the code of International Council of Nurses (ICN), International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) and the Nurses and Midwives Act of the Gambia.
Mr. Marong said the main objective of this report is to provide evidence base on the state of the world’s Midwifery in 2014 and will be supporting policy dialogue between governments and their partners, accelerate progress on the health related MDGs, identify developments in the three years since the SoWM 2011 report was published and inform negotiations for and preparation of the post-2015 development agenda.
For his part, Bakary Tijan Jargo from the WHO said 350, 000 women and 3.6 million newborns are dying needlessly each year despite the Millennium Development Goals (MDG 4), for reducing child mortality, and MDG 5, for improving material health.