July 13, 2017 By Kadrie Koroma
The Commonwealth Nurses and Midwives Federation in collaboration with the Sierra Leone Nurses Association (SLNA) has commenced a five-day training for Nurses and Midwives on the theme “Making Pregnancy Safer” Maternal Health Updates at the Presidential Lounge of the National Stadium, Brooksfields in Freetown.
Declaring the training opens, the Director of Reproductive and Child Health, Dr. Santigie Sesay said Nurses and Midwives have a great role to play in the improvement of the health care delivery system in the country.
He commended the Commonwealth Federation for supporting the Nurses Association in Sierra Leone for conducting this training on the topic “Making Pregnancy Safer” as they all know the issue of maternal and mortality rate in the country.
Dr. Sesay said according to WHO survey 1360 by 100,000 lives birth die every year, meaning that for 2017, over 2000 pregnant women will die. He added that it was against the background that the Ministry of Health and Sanitation has put together what is called the Maternal Death Surveillance and Response, a way to track down the maternal deaths and take actions.
He informed his audience that for 2016 they were able to track about 80 to 85 percent of maternal deaths, noting that they don’t want to see any pregnant woman die, and the only way to prevent that it is to make pregnancy safe.
Dr. Sanitigie Sesay appealed to Nurses and Midwives to respect pregnant women coming to their facilities referring to it as “Respectful Antenatal Care”, adding that if they don’t respect them they would never come but prefer going to the Traditional Birth Attendants.
“Please let us respect our clients they are human beings. Remember, may be the list women you see who has nothing to offer you is related to the President or the Vice President, so don’t underrate anybody treat them equally”, opined Dr. Sesay.
In her statement, the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, Matron Hossinatu Koroma giving an update of the Federation said Sierra Leone became a member of the then Commonwealth Nurses Federation in 1973 that was recently changed to the Commonwealth Nurses and Midwives Federation.
She informed her audience that as recent as 2014 she attended the meeting in the UK with the President of the Sierra Leone Nurses Association, and was nominated and selected as Board Member for the West African Region.
Matron Koroma disclosed that in 2012 they conducted a nationwide training across the region for Nurses and Midwives on Safety that attracted approximately 50 participants, adding that in 2013 they also benefited from a training supported by the Commonwealth Federation to train Nurses and Midwives on maternal deaths.
She stated that in 2015 during the Ebola outbreak in the country they benefited from financial support from the Federation for a nationwide training for Nurses and Midwives on Ebola Prevention.
Matron Koroma said as Nurses and Midwives they should be aware that the future of their mothers and children are in their hands, adding that there is no way they can talk about reducing maternal and infant mortality without Nurses and Midwives.
The Education Consultant, Commonwealth Nurses and Midwives Federation, Minnesha Yasmine said no woman should die while giving birth, and that Nurses and Midwives should endeavor to be train on making pregnancy safer and reduce maternal mortality in the country.
The President of the Sierra Leone Nurses Association (SLNA), Mr. Senesie Magao described the training as important, and was initiated during their last visit to attend the Commonwealth Nurses and Midwives Conference in the United Kingdom.
He told the gathering that during the conference, discussions was held between the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer and the Commonwealth Secretary General for Nurses and Midwives Federation regarding the escalated figures of infant maternal and mortality in Sierra Leone and were they can intervene as partners in development to support. He added that the Federation has heeded to their call and they are here to trained Nurses and Midwives.
Mr. Magao disclosed that similar trainings will also be held in Bo and Makeni in November this year for those in the provinces, and appealed to participants that knowledge gained should be impacted in the various hospitals and health facilities.