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Midwives are key players in the prevention of maternal and newborn deaths. Their contributions towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals cannot be overemphasised. They can deliver up to 87 percent of all essential sexual, reproductive, maternal, and newborn health services.

Midwives Yama Cham and Yusupha Korta both work at the Serekunda health Centre. For them, midwifery is a rewarding profession which avails them an opportunity to accompany women throughout their pregnancies, during delivery and to provide care to them and their newborns.

“I grew up dreaming about being a health worker particularly working directly with women and their babies. Being a midwife has helped me to realise this dream.” This is the motivation that has pushed Yama for the past 15 years, working in health facilities across The Gambia.

Yama believes that every woman deserves to receive quality maternal health care under favourable conditions and with the support of a midwife. “Both in the health facility and on the streets, whenever a woman is in need of a health care provider, I make myself available” she shared.

According to Yusupha, the joy he feels every time he supports a woman to deliver safely is unmatched. “This job gives me self-fulfillment and reminds me that I am on the right path” he added.

Of course, being a man and choosing midwifery as a profession comes with its own challenges, mostly driven by socio-cultural and religious beliefs and Yusupha is no exception. In many communities, pregnant women and their spouses will opt for women health care providers attending to them instead of a man. As a professional, Yusupha continues to find opportunities to speak to more women and their spouses on the need to focus on delivering the highest quality of care to avoid childbirth related complications during labour.

For the 8 years he has spent in the profession so far, Yusupha has helped to deliver more than 150 babies and hopes to continue doing this at every opportunity. “A few years ago, a couple named their baby after me, after I supported the woman to safely deliver her newborn.” For him, this has remained the highlight of his career as a lifesaver.

The maternity unit at the Serekunda Health Centre where both Yama and Yusupha work, is currently being renovated and refurbished with support from UNFPA to strengthen service provision and improve quality of care.




Media contacts:

Haddy Jonga – Programme Analyst, Communications

Faith C. Ememodo – UNV Communications Associate