Pregnant women in Akwa Ibom State have expressed worry following mass retirement of midwives in the state.
At the Anua General Hospital in the state capital Uyo and other public hospitals, it was gathered that the few professional medics on ground and a scanty number of professional midwives only attend to pregnant women who are experiencing complications during labour.
A senior nursing officer told Leadership news that, “We have to attend to the severe cases of women in serious pressure under labour, while the less pressing ones have had to be referred because of inadequate midwives.”
It was learnt that because of the prevailing cash crunch facing the country, many of the expectant mothers, especially the less-privileged ones, now opt for other alternatives like Traditional Birth Attendants in the rural communities, while others who could afford it take their cases to more expensive private hospitals.
An expectant mother Mayen Etuk said, “I was referred to the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital due to the shortage of midwives at the maternity wards in the government-owned public hospital, which is more affordable.”
In his comment, the state’s commissioner for health, Prof. Augustine Umoh, who admitted the challenge on Thursday, explained that arrangements were already in place to hire some of the retired midwives, while active midwives are still being deployed as a stop-gap measure towards addressing the medical emergencies.