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Midwives struggle to renew licenses amidst shortage of centres

The trainees were awarded certificates dubbed ‘ Helping Mothers Survive Champions’. Courtesy photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Midwives aiming to renew their practicing licenses face challenges accessing centres for retooling as required by the Ministry of Health which has left many of them practicing without licenses.

The Uganda Nurses and Midwifery Council requires that a midwife attains 50 Continuous Professional Development -CPD credit units over a period of three years when they are supposed to renew their licenses where 35 credits are in nursing and midwifery related areas and the 15 in other areas deemed necessary by a midwife.

According to Prof. Sam Luboga, the chairperson of the Education Service Commission, while the council requires midwives to have attained training as part of their Continuous Professional Development, there are only a few centres that are accredited to offer this service. He was officiating at the closure of a three day training of midwives based at Mengo hospital.

While health workers grow through longer periods of training before starting to practice, Luboga says it’s important that they are periodically brought up to speed with new trends in care or else they became dangerous considering that they work in a critical field charged with ensuring that lives are protected.

Angella Illakut, the registrar at the council told URN on Monday that it’s up to the health worker to find where to train from as for them they are only concerned with whether the professional gained an additional or renewed their competence over that period.

While it’s the council that accredits such centres to provide CPD, Illakut was unaware of how many they are in the country currently but also admitted that the majority of them are located in urban areas making it challenging for the rural midwives to access them. Trained at a new training centre in Kampala called Sustainable Leadership Institute, the midwives were awarded certificates marked ‘helping mothers survive champions’.

Dr Mike Kagawa, a lecturer of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Makerere University School of Medicine who was one of the trainers said they developed modules that covered how to spot the danger signs in the five top killers of mothers currently which include bleeding, infections and abortion-related complications.

In the maternity ward at the Mulago Maternal and Neonatal hospital where he works, Kagawa says increasingly, women are succumbing mostly to high blood pressure also called preeclampsia or eclampsia, bleeding, obstructed labor and bleeding.

Kagawa says in the retooling process, they also introduced modules on how to save babies at birth.

However on her part, in absence of enough training centres for CPD, Illakut says the council has come up with an app with all necessary materials uploaded where health workers can self educate and get assessed virtually before their licenses are renewed.



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