The Syndicate of Midwives in Lebanon honored, during a ceremony it held on the occasion of the International Day of the Midwife on May 5, the Minister of Public Health in the caretaker government, Firas Al-Abyad, for his efforts in strengthening the role of the midwife to achieve the sustainable development goals that Lebanon committed to in the League of Arab States.
The Minister of Health said: “I am honored to speak to you today on the International Day of the Midwife. This event provides us with an opportunity to reflect on the important work that midwives do in our country and around the world. Midwifery is an important profession that has been practiced for centuries, providing vital support to women and their families during pregnancy The added value of midwives cannot be overstated, as midwives are not only experts in the field of maternal and child health, but also provide comprehensive care, including emotional and psychological support to women and their families.”
He added: “There is no doubt that the difficult circumstances that Lebanon is going through led to a decline in the level of many health services, which led to a similar decline in maternal and child health indicators, and the migration of health workers exacerbated this, and all of this made it imperative for the Ministry of Public Health to find solutions, In cooperation with trade unions, specialists and international partners.
He continued: “The National Health Strategy, which was launched by the Ministry two months ago, sets a clear path out of the crisis, and the most important thing in it is directing the health system to a system that relies primarily and in principle on prevention and primary health care as a cornerstone, and a first step in moving towards comprehensive health coverage.” The strategy also notes the importance of the human factor and the need to invest in it and preserve it, and considers that its shortage is the biggest challenge that our health system will face in the coming years.
He said: “The Ministry of Public Health is supportive of the Syndicate of Midwives in Lebanon, and considers it an essential partner in the advancement of our health system, and is keen on its participation in all health initiatives, including committees concerned with maternal and child health. This cooperation enabled midwives to contribute their expertise and knowledge to the development of Policies and programs that promote the health and well-being of women and children in our country.”
He added, “One area in which midwives have a significant impact is antenatal care in primary health care centres. Midwives play a critical role in ensuring that women receive quality care during pregnancy, including regular check-ups, nutritional counseling, and education about the importance of breastfeeding. Undoubtedly, this will lead to an improvement in maternal and child health indicators, including a decrease in maternal and newborn mortality rates.
He continued: “An important event was also the project that started at the Rafic Hariri University Hospital, which adopted the principle of childbirth operations under the supervision of midwives (midwife led delivery) in cooperation with Doctors Without Borders and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the hospital. This program includes a key role for midwives in Management of natural deliveries, with obstetricians called only in case of complications, and this program helped in obtaining excellent indicators, the most important of which is a low percentage of caesarean sections in childbirth cases.The success of this project led to the start of a discussion about expanding the idea of midwife-led birth to public hospitals other in Lebanon.
And he added, “It is necessary to thank international organizations, led by the United Nations Population Fund and the United Nations UNICEF, for their constant and continuous support to the Ministry of Public Health and its programs to provide the necessary care for mothers and children, especially in these difficult circumstances, and for what Lebanon is doing on behalf of the world.” I unanimously agree to provide these services to the displaced on an equal basis with citizens, without discrimination.”
He concluded: “Midwifery is a vital profession that plays an essential role in promoting the health and well-being of women and their families. We must continue to support midwives and ensure that they have the resources they need to provide quality care to their patients. I also urge our partners to continue collaborating with the Syndicate of Midwives in Lebanon to develop policies And programs that support the work of midwives and improve maternal and child health outcomes in our country.”
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