It is an established fact that good reproductive and child health is vital for the survival of humanity and there is the need for every human being to ensure that the human race continues to exist, Gambia’s Vice President Madam Isatou Njie-Saidy has said.
She said: “Women on whom nature has placed the greater responsibility for childbirth and child care must be provided with adequate health care and support, pregnant women must always feel confident that they can receive the right care at all time, and that they can safely deliver healthy babies.”
Madam Njie-Saidy, who is also the Minister for Women Affairs, was speaking at the opening of the 11th Meeting of the West African College of Nursing on Tuesday March 15, 2011 at the Kairaba Beach Hotel, Kololi.
She pointed out that the role of nurses are critical in providing the assurances and providing necessary follow-up to pregnant women, offering professional support during delivery to both mother and child after delivery.
VP Njie-Saidy stated that her government provided free maternal and child heath care services to all Gambians at all public health facilities countrywide from laboratory services, scanning and vaccination to medical care.
She added that her government also invests heavily in the provision of adequate and sound health transports to enable health workers reach all the communities in The Gambia with the required maternal and child health care services, timely referral of women in difficult labour to health facilities, and the required medical attention and nursing care.
“It is rather unfortunate that the so-called develop world continue to poach our meager resources on the pretext of globalization. In fact they are only interested in attracting our skilled and talented people and shut the door to the rest,” she stressed.
“This rapacious brain-drain help to perpetuate neocolonial dependency that Africans should be aware of and put people first before individual financial gains, which everybody know is not the be-all and end-all of life.” And that the government of the Gambia is trying to curb the high attrition rate of qualified nurses by offering nurses additional incentives together with the numbers of the medical and public health cadres.
On behalf of the President of the West African Post Graduate College of Pharmacists, Fatoumata Jah Sowe, Deputy Chief Pharmacist National Pharmaceutical Service at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare said theme “Maternal and child survival in the West African Sub-region” is timely.
This, she said is due to accounts of post and present conflicts in the sub-region resulting in wars, displacements and high influx of refugees. The Gambian have be been very fortunate to have one of the best records in maternal and child mortality in the sub-region and the African continent.
For her part Mrs. Dedeh F. Jones, President of West African College of Nursing (WACN) said West African Nurses and Midwives can make a difference in the reduction of unacceptable and high infant and maternal morbidity and mortality rates.
However, she stressed that they should be provided with an enabling working environment and appropriate motivation by governments and other employing agencies.
“All we asked from governments and other employing agencies is to create a positive practice and commensurate pay for our nurses and midwives,” she said.
Speaking on behalf of the President of Commonwealth Nurses Federation (CNF) Mrs. Alice Darkoa Asare Allotey, CNF Board Member for West Africa said CNF is a federation of national nursing associations in 54 commonwealth countries around the world.
CNF has a strong commitment to Africa and has been very active in supporting national nursing associations and providing education and training over the past two years in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana, Sierra Leone, and Cameroon.
She noted that CNF has applied for funding for the next twelve months for workshop to be conducted in Lesotho, Namibia, Malawi, Zambia, Rwanda, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Tanzania to focus on nurses as agents of change. Source - The Voice