Part of Primary Care Nurses who graduated with certificates after the Up-skilling programme launch
According to the Zimbabwe Demographic Health Survey Report of 2010-2011, Zimbabwe is experiencing high maternal mortality rate of 925/100 000.At the same time, the Infant Mortality Rate remains high at 57/1000 and the under-five mortality rate is at 84 deaths per 100 live births.
Director of Nursing Services Ms C.M.Z Chasokela, who was standing in for the Hon Deputy Minister of Health and Child Welfare Dr D Mombeshora said, “These figures are alarming given that there are evidenced based cost efficient and effective ways of combating maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality in resource limited”
She said some of the interventions include the provision of skilled attendance at birth whereby we need to ensure that there is a trained and competent health care practitioner such as doctors, nurses with training in obstetrics and midwifery, however the midwives and obstetricians remain grossly inadequate for our population.
Every child deserves to live a quality life if they to grow up and participate fully in the development of our nation.The launch bears testimony to our concern as a nation to ensure that pregnancy and its outcomes are positive and that any unforeseen events that can arise at any stage of the process of giving birth are dealt with speedily and competently.
Primary Care Nurses have remained the pillar stone of the health care delivery system in the rural Zimbabwe, and as the country is still experiencing a shortage of midwives, it was imperative that a programme be developed to enhance the competencies of the Primary Care Nurses so as to enable them to contact uncomplicated deliveries at the Rural Health Central
Ms Chasokela further said, “Zimbabwe is a signatory to a number of Regional and International initiatives such as the Maputo Declaration, CARMMA and MDGs whose deadline for attainment is fast closing in propels us to come up with innovative strategies and interventions that should see us achieving the goals or meeting most of the MDGs targets.”
Speaking at the launch European Union representative said, “The European Union has been a consistent and engaged partner of Zimbabwe in the Health sector for more than 10 years and enjoys a very close collaboration with the Ministry of Health even during difficult times, playing a crucial role in the training and retention of human resources in the health sector in Zimbabwe.”
As part of the recognition for more qualitative health services the EU decided to support the “Accelerated Midwifery Training” programme at a cost US$2 million to ensure that at least 60% of nurses at any health facility are midwives. The increase in number of qualified midwives is expected to lead to the reduction of maternal deaths.
In every health facility qualified midwives are key in the effort to achieve MDGs to reduce maternal mortality ratio by 75% compared to that of 1990 by the year 2015.After the launch of the training programme the first batch of the trained Primary Care Nurses graduated with certificates.