By Memory Chamisa
Traditional midwives have remained a life-line for women in maternal health care provision, especially when the expected one comes before the mother gets to hospital.
These women often dip into their own pockets to assist their fellow sisters and children who regularly come knocking on their doorsteps, sometimes with nothing at all.
Their philanthropic works have not gone unnoticed. Following a story on ZBC News last year of Epworth traditional midwives who have gone out of their way to assist pregnant women in their community, despite facing their own family challenges.
This Saturday, they received food hampers from a local non-governmental organisation as a token of appreciation for their sterling work.
“We are grateful for the recognition as we often face very difficult situations whereby sometimes people come knocking on our door steps without anything to put on the new baby,” said a midwife who stays in Epworth.
Another said: “Some even come showing hunger signs and we end up taking from our own pantries to feed them.”
Rhonaflo Foundation, which appreciated these women highlighted the need to capacitate traditional midwives as they face many challenges during the course of their work.
“I lost my mother during child-birth, so I understand the work these women do and was touched when I saw their story and decided to come here and see for myself and also show some appreciation for their work,” Rhonaflo Foundation representative Chipo Mlambo said.
Traditional midwives are mandated to give health education to pregnant women and encourage them to go to established health facilities, with government now assisting them in training on use of safe and hygienic sundries.