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Zambia faces midwife shortage crisis

Posted: 8 May 2012 by Rebecca Grant

The number of midwives in Zambia must increase by 173% in order to combat the current crisis in maternity care provision.

Zambia needs around 5600 more midwives in order to meet the needs of women and their babies, According to Duah Owusu-Sarfo, country representative for the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA).

Currently there are 3226 working at various health institutions around the country and just 47% of births are attended by someone with midwifery skills. 

This severe shortage means that many women are at high risk of dying from complications during or after childbirth.

The call for more midwives coincided with the International Day of the Midwife 2012 on 5 May.  

However Mr Sarfo also praised the Zambian government’s efforts to address the midwife shortage. He said that a midwifery training programme that it recently introduced would ‘help enhance maternal health situation in the country.’