The Nursing and Midwifery Scientific Conference which is planned to be held next month in Dodoma will, among other things, deliberate on maternal and neonatal mobility and mortality rate in the country. According to the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA, the organisers of the conference and participants will throw their weight into charting out ways and alternative methods to improve the sector. The event aims towards quality, compassionate and safe nursing and midwifery practices in order to address maternal and neonatal mobility and mortality rate. Director of Nursing and Midwifery Services in the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Mr Gustav Moyo said yesterday during a one-day workshop with journalists that the conference will involve over 400 participants, including scientists, researchers and health stakeholders. He said through the conference it will help in finding a solution on increasing medical facilities and improvement of working environment for nurses and midwives. “Lack of midwives and nurses is still a major challenge in the country. It is advised that one pregnant mother should be attended by one midwife when she is delivering, but due to the current situation, it is hard to practice that,” he said.Tanzania Midwife Association (TAMA) General Secretary, Dr Sebalda Leshabari, said midwifery needs committed hearts because many have run away from the work due to the difficult working environment. She called on the government and health stakeholders to generate friendly and good environment which can attract others to enter into the midwifery field, saying that if the number of midwives increases, it will help in reducing deaths of mothers and children. According to her, the number of mothers giving birth at health centres increased from 50 per cent to 63 per cent in Tanzania, which indicates that parents are now aware of the importance of delivering in health facilities. Dr Leshabari stressed that it is good for people to understand that the midwifery is one of the noble professions that should be respected. The Nursing and Midwifery Council (TNMC) Registrar, Ms Lena Mfalila on her part said that more than 110 programmes/colleges and universities have been registered, which provide midwife and nursing courses in different grades, from Certificate, Degree, Diploma and Masters.

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