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Sweden and UNFPA recognize best performing midwives

Kampala, Uganda - Petua Kiboko Olobo stood elegantly in her white dress, complete with a belt, a head cap and a badge with the words, ‘I love midwifery’. This was at the award ceremony for the 2018 best performing midwives in Uganda.

“I look forward to presenting the midwives. This event is very good motivation because, despite the challenging working conditions, a midwife will make sure that she helps a mother deliver safely,” said Sister Olobo, Commissioner Nursing and Midwifery at the Ministry of Health in Uganda.

At the event, held at the residence of the Ambassador of Sweden to Uganda in Kololo - Kampala, twelve best performing midwives across Uganda were celebrated.

This is the fourth year that Uganda has celebrated the important role midwives play in maternal health. “In 2015, Uganda was the first country in the world to introduce a Midwives4All award for excellence in midwifery and outstanding contribution to maternal and newborn health,” said H.E. Per Lindgärde, Ambassador of Sweden.

“With this prize, it is our hope that all awarded midwives will continue to find inspiration and motivation to carry out the tremendously important work that they do and be role models for other midwives and students in their districts, regions and in Uganda as a whole,” H.E. Lindgärde added.

One of the winning midwives with her
certificate. PHOTO: UNFPA/Prossy

The guest of honour, Hon. Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, also Minister of Health acknowledged the hardships midwives go through, such as lack of lighting in some facilities, lack of running water, among other challenges. “And I really want to appreciate those of you who work in lower facilities in such difficult conditions and you still bring babies to life,” said Hon. Aceng.

UNFPA Representative, Mr. Alain Sibenaler commended the Government of Sweden for the generous support towards midwifery services in Uganda.

“Since 2010, through UNFPA, Sweden has supported training of 590 midwives, 428 have completed training, of which 247 (about 56 percent) have been deployed in health facilities across the country,” said Mr. Sibenaler.  “This has been one of the strategic interventions to address the midwifery deficit, especially in hard to reach areas like the Karamoja region.”

H.E. Lindgärde committed that the Embassy of Sweden in Uganda will continue its extensive engagement in sexual and reproductive health and rights,  and especially maternal health in the years to come and called upon everyone to join this important task.

-Written by Prossy Jonker Nakanjako