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Celebrating midwives: meet Congolese Eugénie Nzigire Ngabo

Celebrating midwives: meet Congolese Eugénie Nzigire Ngabo

Democratic Republic Of Congo

May 5 is the internationally recognized day to highlight the work of midwives. On this day, the International Confederation of nurses entreats all to focus on the role of midwives and midwifery.

To celebrate this day , our team spent some time with Eugénie Nzigire Ngabo, a midwife from Bukavu in South Kivu ,in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

She has more than 30 years of experience in her job and has delivered more than three thousand babies.

My message to midwives on May 5 is to encourage each other because there are men and women who practice this profession. Everyday I pray a lot so that each delivery goes well.

Her role includes support and education for pregnant women. Ngabo also monitors and follows up with her clients.

“My message to midwives on May 5 is to encourage each other because there are men and women who practice this profession. Despite all the great work we do, our remuneration is nothing to write home about. Everyday I pray a lot so that each delivery goes well. This profession, one of values, sometimes we fail ourselves to put value on our work ,but it is noble profession, because helping a mother give life is not easy’‘, Ngabo told Africanews correspondent, Gael Mpoyo.

Nathalie, a new mum testifies of her experience. She admits that initially she was unsure of the professionalism midwives show, but is not confident after this midwife demystified childbirth.

‘‘I love and especially admire the work that Nzigire Ngabo does and I hope that all midwives can continue in this momentum’‘, she said.

Every 30 minutes, at least a woman dies during childbirth in DR Congo. Every year, about 15,000 women die giving birth. The country is known for being the “worst country to be a mother”.

Midwives who are the primary providers of care to women and their newborns during pregnancy, labor, delivery and post-birth are true allies to their colleagues as they tackle maternal mortality.

‘‘Midwives are among our most privileged collaborators. Obstetricians deal with the mother who comes to give birth, and observes as well. Midwives have enormous tasks, it is thanks to midwives that we have succeeded in reducing maternal mortality in the world’‘, said gynecologist Dr. Ernest Mudjo.

For Dr. Joseph Kakisingi ‘‘midwives in Africa need continuous training, they need to continue to learn new things, like how to use new technology to monitor labor and especially know how to alert the doctor at the right time. You know that in Africa it is the midwife who is in constant contact, and monitors labor from start to finish and alerts the doctor when there is complication’‘.

Midwives in rural areas are burdened with work. Those in large cities also face the same challenges because hospitals are generally understaffed.

Today, the midwives want their profession to be prioritized and given the proper place it deserves in society.

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