The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole has said that the federal government was planning to upgrade the standard of midwifery practices in the country.
The Minister made this known during the Commemoration of the 2017 International Day of the Midwife (IDM), in Abuja.
Prof. Adewole said that a knowledgeable, skilled and motivated health workforce was an important catalyst towards achieving Universal Health Coverage, adding that there was also need for pre- service training which would involve regular curriculum review and provision of adequate funding.
He pointed out that the National Health Policy considered Primary Healthcare as the framework to improve health services for all Nigerians, which include provision of health education, adequate nutrition, safe water and sanitation, reproductive health among others.
The Minister hinted that the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) was established to provide to strategic support for the development and delivery of primary healthcare, which include developing guidelines on the implementation of primary healthcare services and enforcing such guidelines.
He said that state government was also expected to establish State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (SPHCDA) to directly oversee the implementation of primary health care services in the various states.
Adewole further explained that the Midwives Service Scheme (MSS) launched in 2009 which aimed at ensuring skilled birth attendants through the recruitment and deployment of midwives to underserved areas as frontline workers was currently being reviewed.“Our plan was to modify the scheme based on lesson learnt to improve efficient service delivery in our drive to revitalize the primary healthcare services delivery in the country”, he added.
He emphasized that the Federal Ministry of Health was committed to revitalizing primary healthcare in Nigeria as bedrock of the health system.
The essence, he said was to decongest the excess burden of consultations in the tertiary and specialist health facilities.
While thanking other development partners especially UNFPA for strengthening the midwifery workforce over the years, he commended the wife of the Senate President, Mrs.Toyin Saraki for supporting Government initiative of providing quality Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Services in the country through her NGO “WellBeing Foundation,”
Earlier, in her remark, the wife of the Senate President and founder of WellBeing Foundation, Mrs. Toyin Saraki, stressed the need for Government, NGO and Development Partners to invest in capacity building for the Midwives and Nurses.