FG to deploy over 1000 new midwives to PHC facilities nation wide

The Federal Government, through the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) is deploying 1,473 newly graduated basic midwives to Primary Health Care facilities in rural areas throughout the 36 States and FCT.
The deployment is aimed at improving maternal, new-born and child health outcomes and consolidating on the gains of the Midwives Service Scheme (MSS) of the Federal Government.
The Acting Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Emmanuel Odu disclosed this in Abuja over the weekend at the flag off of a 2 – day orientation workshop for the first batch of the new basic midwives, numbering 443.
Dr. Odu announced that the orientation workshop for 2nd and 3rd batches of the midwives would hold soon in Kaduna and Edo States respectively.
According to him, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency and the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria are in partnership to place newly graduated Basic Midwives on a one year mandatory service at Primary Health Care centres across the country.
Dr. Odu also disclosed that the Federal Government will collaborate with both States and Local Governments to sustain the programme.
He said that with 61% of pregnant women receiving ante-natal care by a skilled provider in the country, only 38% of births were attended to by skilled birth attendants while only 36% deliver in health facilities. He enjoined the midwives, as skilled birth attendants to rededicate themselves and contribute to bridging the gap.
Dr. Odu appealed to the Midwives to see themselves as agents of change, stressing that a combination of their professional skills, positive attitude, and care would stimulate health-seeking behaviour and service utilization, there by contribute to saving the lives of pregnant women, Newborn and children in communities.
In her welcome remarks, the Director, Primary Health Care Systems Development in the Agency, Dr. Nnenna Ihebuzor described the Midwives Service Scheme (MSS) as one of the flagship programmes of the Federal Government to reduce the high rate of maternal and child morbidity and mortality in Nigeria. She emphasized the triple return on investment from skilled attendants at birth – saving lives of mothers and new-born’s and reducing stillbirths.
She disclosed that the orientation and subsequent training would equip the midwives with the knowledge and professional skills to save lives of mothers and children at rural primary health facilities across the country.
Also speaking the Director, Nursing Services, Federal Ministry of Health, Mrs Mojisola Okodugha, said engagement of basic midwives by the National Primary Health Care Development was a demonstration of the Agency’s commitment to the change agenda of the present administration.
The Registrar, Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria, Alhaji Faruk Abubakar, in his message expressed Council’s readiness to collaborate with the National Primary Health Care Development Agency to ensure that skilled health personnel were deployed to rural health facilities in the Country.
In his message, UNICEF Representative, Dr. Garba Safiyanu commended the Agency’s significant efforts in MSS project and reiterated UNICEF’s commitment to reduction of maternal and child morbidity in the Country.
He advocated quality health care in the country and pledged UNICEF’s continued support to Nigerian government.
The Midwives Service Scheme is funded through one billion Naira budget in the 2016 Federal Government Appropriation for maternal and child health interventions by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency.
It would be recalled that MSS Programme which was introduced in 2009 was the Federal Government public health intervention to reduce maternal and child morbidity and mortality in Nigeria.