First lady, Mrs Lordina Mahama, has appealed to the different professional groups and associations of midwives in the country to urgently tackle the problem of disunity among their ranks.

Speaking at the launch of the 22nd International Day of the Midwife in Wa on Thursday, she said although she doesn’t begrudge the midwives for the numerous associations within the profession, it is important they remained united and focused.

She added that they are the most important players in improving maternal health in the country.

The First Lady also used the occasion to congratulate two midwives, Madam Mariam Issaka and Madam Magdalene Juliet Acquah, for winning international awards for their initiatives.

Upper Regional Minister, Dr Ephraim Aveah Nsoh, in his address said the social, economic and political wellbeing of any nation starts with the people and this is achieved through the early intervention of the midwife who besides delivering a newborn baby also saves the life of the mother.

He noted that the profession is gradually becoming an endangered specie particularly in the Upper West Region.

He revealed that there are only 147 midwives to a population of over 729,000, which translates into 1 midwife to over 4000 people.

He noted that “sadly over 75% of these midwives are above 45 years of age and would soon be retiring in the next 10 t0 15 years”.

The International Day of Midwives was first celebrated May 5, 1991, and has since been observed in over 50 nations around the world.

The idea of having a day to recognise and honor midwives came out of the 1987 International Confederation of Midwives conference in the Netherlands.

The day is set aside to create awareness about the work of midwives.