OJOG  Vol.4 No.7 , May 2014
Midwifery and Midwives Service Scheme: A Panacea for Improvement of Some Maternal and Neonatal Indices in Nigeria—A Brief Review
Abstract: Introduction: Midwifery is the art of caring for women during childbearing. It is practiced throughout the world according to the norms, traditions and cultural practices found in each country. Maternal mortality in Nigeria is high but there are wide variations between the geopolitical zones of the country. Government has established the midwives service scheme (MSS) as part of efforts towards reversing the country’s unacceptably high maternal mortality trends. To improve these indices, the MSS in Nigeria engaged newly graduated unemployed and retired midwives to work temporarily in rural areas. The midwives are posted for twelve months to selected primary care facilities linked through a cluster model in which four such facilities with the capacity to provide basic essential obstetric care are clustered around a secondary care facility with the capacity to provide comprehensive emergency obstetric care. This brief review is an attempt at exploring the impact of the midwives service scheme on maternal and neonatal indices in Nigeria. Main content: The outcome of the MSS four years has been an improvement though unevenly and marginally, in these indices in the various geopolitical zones of Nigeria. Improvements have been noticed in maternal indices such as antenatal care attendance, women receiving two doses of tetanus toxoid and number of deliveries by skilled personnel. Also reduction in maternal and neonatal mortality has been observed over the years following introduction of the scheme. Major challenges however, include lack of essential drugs, poor accommodation facilities for MSS staff, irregular payment of their remuneration and lack of water/power supply to some designated facilities for the scheme. Recommendations and conclusions: It is therefore recommended that 24 hours availability of essential drugs at primary healthcare centers be maintained. This should happen in conjunction with regular payment of full entitlements and benefits and provision of secured, habitable and good accommodation for MSS staff. Finally, aggressive community mobilization should continue in order to engender community involvement and participation for sustainable program development.
Cite this paper: Adogu, P. (2014) Midwifery and Midwives Service Scheme: A Panacea for Improvement of Some Maternal and Neonatal Indices in Nigeria—A Brief Review. Open Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 4, 343-348. doi: 10.4236/ojog.2014.47051.

[1]   Connerton, W.C. (2012) Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research. University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. Contributions on “Midwifery” in Encyclopaedia Britannica (last updated 25 May 2012).

[2]   Harrison, K.H. (2009) The Struggle to Reduce High Maternal Mortality in Nigeria. African Journal of Reproductive Health, 13, 9-20.

[3]   National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) (2013) Making Nigerians Healthy. Report on Midwives Service Scheme.

[4]   Ujah, I.A., Aisien, O.A., Mutihir, J.T., Vanderjagt, D.J., Glew, R.H. and Uguru, V.E. (2005) Factors Contributing to Maternal Mortality in North-Central Nigeria: A Seventeen Year Review. African Journal of Reproductive Health, 9, 27-40.

[5]   Ochejele, S., Enegela, J. and Heywood, A. (2004) Assessment of Quality of Emergency Obstetrics Care at the Federal Medical Centre, Makurdi, Nigeria. Tropical Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 21, 160-163.

[6]   Yusuf, M.A., Hamisu, M.S., Nalini, S.K. and Greg, R.A. (2003) Maternal Mortality in Northern Nigeria: A Population Based Study. European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, 109, 153-157.

[7]   Yusuf, M.A. (2005) Pattern of Maternal Morbidity and Mortality in Kano State: A Geographical Analysis. Journal of Management & Social Sciences, 9, 196-221.

[8]   Onakewhor, J.U. and Gharoro, E.P. (2008) Changing Trends in Maternal Mortality in a Developing Country. Nigerian Journal of Clinical Practice, 11, 111-120.

[9]   Onah, H.E., Okaro, J.M., Umeh, U. and Chigbu, C.O. (2005) Maternal Mortality in Health Institutions with Emergency Obstetric Care Facilities in Enugu State, Nigeria. Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 25, 569-574.

[10]   Population Reference Bureau (2001) World Population Data Sheet. Washington DC: Population Reference Bureau 2001. reports/2000-2002/sheet4.html

[11]   Rakiya A Mohamed (2013) Nigeria: Challenges of the Midwives Scheme. 1-2.

[12]   Abimbola, S., Okoli, U., Olubajo, O., Abdullahi, M.J. and Pate, M.A. (2012) The Midwives Service Scheme in Nigeria. PLoS Medicine, 9, e1001211.

[13]   Nigerian Demographic and Health Survey (2013) Preliminary Report, Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey. National Population Commission, MEASURE, DHS, ICF International, Calverton, Maryland, 20-24.

[14]   Commonwealth Health Online; Facts and Figures: 2012 and 2013.

[15]   MoH Malawi Human Resources in the Health Sector: Towards a Solution (2004) Lilongwe: Ministry of Health.

[16]   Wibulpolprasert, S. and Pengpaibon, P. (2002) Integrated Strategies to Tackle the Inequitable Distribution of Doctors in Thailand: Four Decades of Experience. Human Resources for Health, 1, 12.