Tele-Radio Pointe Noire reported on 9 July on a donation made by UNFPA to the Hospital Adolphe Cisse in Pointe-Noire, the second largest city of the country, as the new third fistula treatment centre in Congo, beside the two others located in the capital city of Brazzaville. UNFPA Representative David Lawson explained that this centre would ease referral of fistula patients in the South of the country and that a fourth centre will open later on this year in the Northern part of the country. Mr. Lawson said: "We are convince that we can eradicate fistula and reduce maternal mortality significantly. Through this donation, UNFPA wants to help women to get rid of fistula free of charge and benefit from a reinsertion programme to live a normal life. We count on the management and leadership skills of the Director of this Hospital, Sidonie Kizonzi to make a difference."
CONGO (BRAZZAVILLE): Afrique Echos and Pari Africain reported on 4 July on the national release of The State of the World’s Midwives at a press conference held by UNFPA Representative David Lawson and Midwife National Order President Adrienne Nguekélé. The report outlines the shortage of midwives worldwide and the need for some countries to double or triple the number of midwives, which is the case in Congo. At the press conference, Ms. Nguekele called for additional training for midwives, enhanced medical and surgical equipment, including antenatal emergency obstetric care, improved working environment conditions, and high ethical standards in midwifery. Read in French: Afrique Echos
KENYA: The Nairobi Star published an op-ed by UNFPA Representative Fidelis Zama Chi and White Ribbon Alliance Coordinator Angela Nguku on 7 July on the State of the World’s Midwives report. They called for improved investments in midwives, and noted ongoing efforts to improve maternal health. UNFPA's three-pronged strategy to reducing maternal death and morbidity includes: family planning, skilled attendance at birth, and Emergency Obstetric Care. UNFPA has been requested by the government to assist in formulating guidelines for the establishment of Health Centres of Excellence and to pilot the concept in four selected Districts (Kilifi, Nairobi West urban slums, Naivasha and Migori). In 2010, UNFPA supported the government to launch the Campaign on Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Africa (CARMMA) and Maternal and Neo-Natal Health (MNH) Road Map. We can be proud of our global advances in reproductive health care. As we head towards 2015, however, MDGs 4 and 5 remain the least advanced of all the MDGs. And yet, tackling maternal mortality is fundamental to reaching all of our global development goals. Read: The Nairobi Star
NIGERIA: The Daily Independent reported on 9 July that up to 3.6 million deaths could be avoided each year in 58 developing countries if midwifery services are upgraded by 2015, according to a major new report released recently by UNFPA and partners. The State of the World's Midwifery, launched at the Triennial Congress of the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) underway in Durban, South Africa, unveils new data confirming there is a significant gap between the number of midwives practising and those needed to save lives. "The report points to an urgent need to train more health workers with midwifery skills and ensure equitable access to their life-saving services in communities to improve the health of women and children," said Executive Director of UNFPA, Babatunde Osotimehin.
The Daily Trust published a blog on 6 July by Aminu Magashi reflecting on the State of the World’s Midwives report and its implications for Nigeria. “Public health advisors and practitioners are not relying on the key health professional that can improve maternal mortality - the midwife," said Vincent Fauveau, Senior Maternal Health Advisor with UNFPA, who led the drafting of the report. The report released on 20 June said most of these deaths, as well as many of the severe illnesses and disabilities caused by childbirth, could be prevented by a proficient, motivated and supported midwifery workforce. The report focuses on the 58 countries with the highest rates of maternal, foetal and newborn mortality. These countries account for 91 percent of the global burden of maternal mortality, but have less than 17 percent of the world’s skilled birth attendants. Read: The Daily Trust
Rádio Cidade reported on 9 July that Agata Fernando, from Pemba city, Cabo Delgado province, won the young female DJ competition organized by UNFPA's Geracão Biz Programme. Nezia Machava, from Beira (Sofala province), and Graca Nota, from Maputo city, were awarded second and third prizes, respectively. Prizes included professional DJkits and laptop computers. Agata Fernando, the winner, said that she hopes to use the equipment to entertain youngsters, and will also inform them about matters related to HIV prevention and sexual health and rights. During the competition, participants from the eleven provinces were trained by two leading Mozambican DJs - DJ Mandito and DJ Serito - to improve their professional skills, and had workshops with health promoters and peer educators to acquire skills to spread sensitization messages about sexual and reproductive health and rights. The "Ladies Mix DJ" competion was supported by UNFPA and implemented by youth associations, implementers of the Geracão Biz Programme.