MamaYe Ghana, a campaign to improve maternal and newborn survival has called on Hanny-Sherry Ayitey, the Minister for Health, to urgently address the shortfall in the number of midwives needed to help Ghanaian mothers deliver safely.

The call coincides with the International Day of the midwife which falls on May 5.

Midwives play a vital role in supporting women throughout their pregnancy as well as managing complications at birth.

Many midwives travel long distances and work long hours to give high quality care to women in their community.

Experts in maternal health have calculated that if all Ghanaian women had access to the services provided by midwives, then the lives of up to 2,000 mothers and 15,500 babies could be saved by 2015.

Speaking on behalf of the MamaYe campaign, Prof Richard Adanu said: “It is right that we honour our midwives on International Day of the Midwife. We applaud the Government’s commitment to strengthen its free maternal health policy, but more needs to be done to expand this critical workforce.”

Data gathered about the World’s Midwives show that Ghana is missing 29% of the midwives required to support the 32 births per 1,000 population each year in Ghana.

Prof. Adanu added: “We are inviting Ghanaians to show their appreciation of midwives – and help inspire our youth to become midwives in the future. You can do this by tweeting a thank you message for their hard work, or uploading your photographs of support to our Facebook page, or perhaps send us a picture of an inspirational midwife from your community.”