Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda says her ministry will revise and refine recruitment processes to enable more midwives to be employed.
She said this in Kasungu on Thursday during the commemoration of this year’s International Day of the Midwife under the theme ‘100 Years of Progress’.
Chiponda said inadequate human resource remains one of the pressing issues in the health sector despite a number of midwives not employed.
She said: “When talking about issues of safe motherhood, you will always remember a midwife and for them to work well, they need to have the necessary equipment and also the issue of human resource has to be improved.
“Over the last two years, we have recruited about 2 000 health workers, but this is still not enough. That is why we need to refine our recruitment process so that once the midwives graduate, they should automatically find an established post in government or Christian Health Association of Malawi facilities.”
White Ribbon Alliance executive director Hester Nyasulu said a recent study they conducted showed that midwives lack equipment and supplies for them to work without hiccups.
He said: “We engaged about 5 434 midwives in the country and the responses were overwhelming.
“About 32 percent of the respondents indicated that they want better equipment and medical supplies in their facilities while five percent want improved infrastructure as one way of improving their service delivery.”
Association of Malawian Midwives (Amami) president Keith Lipato said a decrease in maternal mortality rate is one achievement that can be attributed to the presence of midwives in the health system.
He said: “In the past, midwives were trained in vernacular and they lacked certain skills. Currently, they are being trained in a professional manner meaning we are progressing as midwives.
“But despite the progress made, if we have qualified midwives and inadequate tools then we cannot work. Skills themselves are not enough but a conducive environment is paramount.”
One of the veteran midwives, Lennie Kamwendo who is also founder of Amami, said she will continue to mentor young midwives for them to grow professionally. International Day of the Midwife is celebrated on May 5 to recognise the important role of midwives in the health sector.