UNFPA donation to midwives for better quality maternal care and COVID-19 prevention
On Tuesday 2 June 2020, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) donated Personal Protective Equipment and reproductive health kits to the Burundian Association of State Midwives (ABUSAFE). This donation will help to improve the quality of reproductive and neonatal health services as well as to protect against COVID-19.
According to Dr. Richmond Tiemoko, UNFPA Representative in Burundi, this year commemorates midwives: "As 2020 is a year dedicated to midwives, we felt it was appropriate to support and celebrate them because every day they are active in the maternity wards.”
For Bernadette Nkanira, President of ABUSAFE, the donation is timely: "This is a great gesture that encourages us to ensure the quality of our services. Our association organizes mentoring sessions through the National Programme for Health and Reproduction (NPHR), supported by UNFPA. They take place in health facilities where personnel are taught all the necessary precautions to ensure that each pregnancy comes to term. They are also trained on minimum emergency measures, the fight against sexual violence and COVID-19 prevention.” UNFPA staff demonstrating the contents of the reproductive health and personal protective equipment kits offered to ABUSAFE. © UNFPA Burundi/2020
Dr. Ananie Ndacayisaba, Director of the NPHR, greatly appreciated the donation and appealed to pregnant women to always do their prenatal consultations in the nearest facilities to monitor their pregnancy for a healthy delivery. He also recalled the importance of family planning for the good health of women and family development. ABUSAFE has distributed UNFPA’s donation to different health facilities, including the Prince Louis Rwagasore Clinic, and Rukaramu and Gatumba health centres in Mutimbuzi Commune of Bujumbura Mairie province. This assistance is particularly useful at a time when these health centres are experiencing above-average admissions of women affected by the devastating floods that occurred in Gatumba (in April 2020).
Although this year should have been used to put the crucial work of midwives around the world into the spotlight, it has coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic which has unfortunately diverted global attention. Nevertheless, when it comes to COVID-19, midwives and other medical personnel are on the frontlines alongside pregnant women.
According to Dr. Bonith Havyarimana, Director of the Prince Louis Rwagasore Clinic, the support provided by UNFPA will help to strengthen efforts to protect staff and patients in the delivery room against COVID-19.