Role of Nurses, Midwives Most Important in Achieving SDGs

Nursing and Midwifery Forum 2019 held in city on Sunday

Bangladesh has made significant strides in reducing newborn and maternal deaths, with nurses and midwives playing a prime role in achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Currently, there are 56,733 registered nurses and midwives in the country, and recently, the government has appointed more than 2,000 midwives, said State Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr Murad Hasan.

The state minister made the remarks at the “Nursing and Midwifery Forum 2019”, held at Krishibid Institute in Dhaka on Sunday, marking International Nurses’ Day and International Day of the Midwife.

Supported by the World Health Organization (WHO), the event was jointly organized by the Directorate General of Nursing and Midwifery (DGNM) and Bangladesh Nursing and Midwifery Council (BNMC).

The state minister said: “The government is strongly committed to making Bangladesh a developed country by achieving the SDGs. Child and maternaldeath rates have been reduced and the average life expectancy has increased, as this government put special emphasis on these issues.”

Nursing and midwifery services are most important for the country, he added.

The state minister also put emphasis on creating more posts for midwives in hospitals and clinics across the country.

Speaking at the event, Professor Dr Nasima Sultana, additional director general of the Directorate of Health Services, said: “Nearly 80% of neonatal deaths can be reduced through quality midwifery services. If we get expert midwives, we will be able to lessen births through C-section and the rate of normal delivery will be increased.”

Kazi Mustafa Sarwar, director general of family planning directorate, said: “A midwife is capable of providing 87% of services related to reproductive and maternalhealth. A midwife can make a difference between life and death.

“If we invest more in developing quality midwives, we will get returns of almost 16 times the investment,” he mentioned.

Shuriya Begum, treasurer of Bangladesh Nursing and Midwifery Council, said: “If we invest more for the development of these professions, we will be able to achieve SDG 7 by 2030.”

Dr Bardan Jung Rana, WHO representative in Bangladesh, said the development of the two professions is vital for marching forward towards universal health coverage and achieving the SDGs.

“The universal health coverage goals are attainable, and nurses and midwives can contribute to many of the SDGs by becoming more empowered and involved,” he said.

International Day of the Midwife is observed on May 5 each year, while International Nurses Day falls on May 12, but this year both the days were marked together due to the upcoming Ramadan fasting.

The slogan for this year’s International Nurses Day is “Nurses: A voice to lead – Health for all”, while “Midwives: Defenders of women’s rights” is the theme of International Day of the Midwife.

The event was presided over by GM Saleh Uddin, secretary to the Medical Education and Family Welfare Division of the Ministry of Health and Family Planning, while Dr Asa Torkelsson, UNFPA representative in Bangladesh, was the guest of honour.

Source: Dhaka Tribune

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