Speakers at the programme in Dhaka have underscored the need for increased investment in nursing and midwifery professions as these are playing a key role in achieving ‘health for all’ in the country.
They came up with the view at Nursing and Midwifery Forum 2019 jointly organised by Directorate General of Nursing and Midwifery (DGMN) and Bangladesh Nursing and Midwifery Council (BNMC) with support from World Health Organization (WHO) Bangladesh.
The programme was organised in observance of the International Nurses Day and International Day of Midwife 2019 held at Krishibid Institution in the city on Sunday.
The profession of the midwifery is very critical as midwives help avert sexually-transmitted infections and prevent disabilities like obstetric fistula, mother-to-child transmission of HIV and female genital mutilation, the speakers said.
Addressing the programme as the chief guest, State Minister for Health and Family Welfare Murad Hasan said the government has given more emphasis on nursing and midwifery education considering the critical role of nurses and midwives in reducing maternal and child mortality as well as saving lives.
He said the government is planning to expand the nursing and midwifery education with updated curricula to ensure quality midwifery and nursing services to people in the country.
Currently, there are 56,733 registered nurses and midwives in the country, and the government has recently appointed over 2,000 midwives, said the state minister.
He said the government is strongly committed to making Bangladesh a developed country by achieving the SDGs. “Child and maternal death rates have been reduced while the average life expectancy has increased, as this government puts special emphasis on these issues.”
Dr Bardan Jung Rana, the WHO representative to Bangladesh, said the development of the two professions is vital for marching towards universal health coverage and achieving the SDGs.
The presentation on the prospect of nursing and midwifery, made by Suriya Begum underlined, “If we invest more in developing quality midwives, we’ll get returns of almost 16 times the investment, and it will help ensure health for all as well as health-related sustainable goals by 2030.”
Nursing and Midwifery Forum 2019 was organised combining the themes of International Nurses Day and International Day of Midwife.
Every year, International Nurses Day is celebrated on May 12, which is Florence Nightingale’s birthday, and this year’s theme set by the International Council of Nurses is “Nurses: a voice to lead, health for all. International Day of the Midwife is celebrated yearly on May 5 and this year’s theme set by the International Confederation of Midwives is “Midwives: defenders of women’s rights.”
Presided over by Health Secretary G M Saleh Uddin, the function was also addressed by Director General, DGNM, Tandra Sikder , WHO Representative in Bangladesh Dr Bardan Jung Rana, UNFPA Representative in Bangladesh Dr Asa Torkelssen, Registrar, BNMC, Shuriya Begum, Director General, Directorate General of Family Planning Dr. Kazi Mostafa Sarwar and First Secretary of the High Commission of Canada in Bangladesh Gabrielle Mathieu.