Shortage of midwives is contributing to high maternal deaths that the country has recorded in the past few years, Health and Child Care Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa has revealed.

With a total number of 6000 midwives, the public sector still has a huge deficit that needs to be filled.

Speaking during a nurses’ graduation ceremony at Gweru Provincial Hospital, Dr Parirenyatwa noted the country requires more midwives to provide skilled care during antenatal delivery as well as post natal care.  

The graduation ceremony coincided with the launch of the cervical cancer prevention and control strategy for 2017 to 2020 were the Health Minister took the opportunity to announce government’s national cervical cancer prevention programme aimed at reducing the disease amongst young women.

This initiative will see girls in primary schools that are not yet sexually active being vaccinated to reduce cases of cervical cancer.

The Health and Child Care Ministry has also recruited 1 600 nurses from July to date following the approval by cabinet for the ministry to recruit 2 000 nurses to cushion the high demand of health practitioners in the country.

The country has a demand of more than 8 000 nurses vacancies in the public health institutions and these have not been filled following the freezing of nursing posts by government in 2014.