|In Viet Nam, the role of village midwives in the health system was officially recognised when the Ministry of Health's circular 07/2013/TT-BYT came into effect in May last year. — Photo suckhoedoisong
HA NOI (VNS) — Viet Nam, one of more than 35 countries surveyed in the State of the World's Midwifery 2014, has successfully implemented measures to retain midwives in remote areas.
The report, titled A Universal Pathway. A Woman's Right to Heath, was launched yesterday in Ha Noi by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Ministry of Health.
It said that midwives at the bedside of each pregnant woman in the world can save millions of lives.
Of all the 73 African, Asian and Latin American countries represented in the report, 28 per cent were increasing the recruitment of midwives and 20 per cent had implemented new codes of practice. About 71 per cent had improved information collection enabling countries to address shortages and education standards.
In Viet Nam, the role of village midwives in the health system was officially recognised when the Ministry of Health's circular 07/2013/TT-BYT came into effect in May last year.
This means that village midwives, including those working in ethnic groups and remote areas, are now entitled to regular allowances from the State budget.
Under the circular, each village midwife receives a monthly allowance set by the State. The poorer the area, the more midwives get. The allowance at present is between VND300,000-500,000 (US$14-$23) a month.
"Midwifery and midwifery practice play a crucial role in Viet Nam's maternal and newborn health care system," said Nguyen Viet Tien, Deputy Minister of Health.
He said a skilled midwifery workforce supported by the health-care system was the key to achieving Millennium Development Goals aimed at decreasing child death and increasing maternal health.
However, major shortages still exist in the midwifery workforce in 73 countries surveyed in the report, including Viet Nam.
These countries account for 96 per cent of global maternal deaths, 91 per cent of stillbirths and 93 per cent of newborn deaths, but have only 42 per cent of the world's midwives, nurses and doctors.
In Viet Nam, the amount of midwives, nurses and doctors meets more than 80 per cent of the real demand.
Arthur Erken, UNFPA Representative in Viet Nam, said that when midwives were properly trained, they could contribute significantly to saving lives and improving the nation's economic and social productivity." — VNS