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Midwifery is a calling from God, 71-year-old practicing midwife

Madam Mercy Borkaifio Bortey, a 71-year-old practicing Principal Midwifery Officer at the Bengali Hospital in Tema, has advised midwives to see midwifery as a calling.

Madam Bortey, who also doubles as a scrub or theatre nurse, said that when seen as a calling, midwives would dedicate their lives to helping pregnant women to safely deliver their babies, to reduce maternal mortality.

She said although some patients in labour could sometimes be difficult to handle, it was important for midwives to build endurance, and compassion for the job and ask God for strength and guidance.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA, Madam Bortey advised expectant mothers to strictly follow the instructions of their midwives during pregnancy, labour, and post-partum, as they have been trained to help them through the stages of childbirth.

She advised pregnant women to take their antenatal classes seriously, saying, though it was good to pray, it must be done alongside orthodox treatment and care for the safety of
both the mother and baby.

She urged men to also take interest in the antenatal care of their expectant women to serve as a support base for them.

Madam Bortey said before enrolling as a midwife, she had worked as a general nurse at the Tema General Hospital for about 20 years before proceeding to the Koforidua Midwifery Training School, where she passed out as a midwife in 1992.

She said during her practicals at the Hospital as a nurse, she had the opportunity to work in all the departments, disclosing that it was on one of those shifts that she ended up at the theatre and developed a love for adding scrubbing to her work.

She stated that ‘even when I was moved to other departments, I went to the theatre daily after my schedule as a volunteer to learn the work, and until now I still work as a midwife and scrub nurse through my efforts.’

She said she had helped deliver more than 350 babies and was still dedicated to delivering more until her last breath on earth, adding that she returned to the TGH after
the midwifery training and worked there until her retirement in 2013.

‘I am an all-round woman; I like the work, and I enjoy seeing people deliver safely. I will do it till my last breath,’ she emphasised, wearing a smile on her face.

Touching on some challenges midwives face, she said it was distressing to prepare a patient for a caesarean section, and the doctor might not be immediately ready to attend to the situation.

She added that the issue of expectant women refusing to consent to a caesarean section was because their pastors had prophesied that they would have a spontaneous vaginal delivery.

Madam Bortey stressed that pastors should use their pulpit to educate the women and encourage them to go for surgery, especially when there are complications, and their anatomy cannot support self-delivery.

Source: Ghana News Agency