As the world celebrates the World Health Week, the Independent Midwives Association of Namibia (Imana) takes this opportunity to send heart felt THANK YOU message to every nurse and midwife in Namibia. During this time where the whole globe is fighting to combat the spread of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic, nurses and midwives are on the forefront of response. They are playing a critical role in keeping the world and nations healthy by rendering respectful and quality care and treatment. Covid-19 is sweeping the world, but women are still pregnant and babies are still being born. The effect of Covid-19 in our fragile healthcare system and working conditions especially for midwives is worrisome.
While we are celebrating the wonderful work you have demonstrated, we emphasise and encourage you to continue performing your work with diligence and compassion. The ethical guidelines for health professionals in Namibia as a guiding tool indicates that as professionals, we have a moral obligation duty, which we acquired by being, qualified and licensed as professionals. Moreover, as professionals working in specific institutions or settings, we have the acquired duties specific to our particular institutionalised role or position. These duties are further circumscribed in our employment contracts, job descriptions, conventional expectations and similar guidelines.
The Labour Act of Namibia stipulates that every employer or person in charge of premises where employees are employed must, without charge to the employees provide employees with adequate personal protective clothing and equipment if reasonably necessary; provide employees with the necessary information and training to work safely and without a risk to their health. This should be the time where we call on the government and the Ministry of Health and Social Services to ensure that our nurses and midwives have access to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at all times. We are also urging all private health care facilities to ensure that the frontline responders have access to PPEs. It is important that nurses and midwives are given proper training on how to effectively and efficiently make use of the PPEs.
This vicious virus causes fear and anxiety among nurses and midwives. Listen to the words of advice from our Lead Midwife Advisor at the International Confederation of Midwives, Ann Yates, “nurses and midwives, take no chance with PPE, take your time and plan carefully how you put on and how you remove your PPE. Mistakes of donning and doffing could be costly! Our message to the general public is simple, stay home and protect us to save lives!
As the Midwifery Association in Namibia, we assure you that we are with you during this catastrophic times. We will continue to support you behind scenes and are ready to step in where necessary. Above all, we thank you for your continuous dedication to the professions. We salute each and every nurse or midwife who will be bidding friends and families goodbye to spend their days and nights in the health facilities carrying out their professional duties and remain in isolation thereafter to prevent the possible spread of the virus.
We encourage you to raise your voices if you find the working conditions unfavourable and posing risks to your lives and the lives of those under your care. We would be at your doorsteps to respectfully advocate for all of you, to seek to redress and engage in conversations with the relevant authorities and assist you all in every possible way.
Continue excelling, leading and innovating by doing more with the limited resources you have at your disposal.
To conclude, we are hoping that the government of the Republic of Namibia will finally realise the importance to invest in Nurses and Midwives. We leave you with the wise words of an Aristotle “where the needs of the world and your talents cross, there lies your vocation”! Happy World Health Week….!
* Tekla Shindi-Mbidi is an Imana member and a board of directors, she is also a Young Midwife Leader.
2020-04-08 09:32:54 | 1 months ago