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A portrait of a Rwandan Midwife
The year 2020 was declared the year of nurses and midwives worldwidely. During this year we are celebrating Midwives in all levels for their hard work , inspiration and dedication to midwifery profession.
We approached various midwives to make portraits of midwives , to share their experiences and their love of the profession.
Our midwife today is Josephine Murekezi.
“I am a midwife on purpose and with purpose. I am a midwife because I believe caring for women is the most important work in the world right now."
Josephine Murekezi is a senior midwife working at King Faisal hospital Kigali. She wears different hats, she is an educator, director of Nursing Services ( Maternal Child and Womens Health &OPD) at Oshen /King Faisal Hospital ,Kigali-Rwanda .She is also the Chairperson of Rwanda Association of Midwives and Vice president of National Council of Nurses and Midwives( NCNM)
Why did you became a midwife?
From a young age of seven, Josephine was hospitalized due to malaria, she started pondering on being a nurse because of the way nurses treated her with passion and kindness. The soft talking when going to inject her could make her not feel the pain of injection. From that time it becomes a song of the day she wanted to be that kind of a person who will care for the needy. At the age of sixteen gave her a love for being with women during labour and birth and caring for mothers and their babies. She wanted to be a midwife who would bring midwifery care to people, who would not necessarily seek it out, including socially disadvantaged populations. As a feminist, I intentionally chose a path into my life’s work that would give me independence as well as collaboration, historical backing as well as future potential, and one that would embody revolutionary principles in my lifetime, including models of teaching fellow midwives, expanding scope of practice, and working in care models as experts in certain types of care for women, and midwifery had it all.
I am fortunate to have had, and continue to have, incredible midwife mentors, who encouraged my interest and participation in leadership in midwifery for the many years I have worked. I do my best to represent the voices of those midwives who I feel I was elected to represent. These are senior midwives, junior midwives, and student midwives seeking an organization diverse in all of its regards. I am proud to be part of an organization that welcomes the intensity of my voice and of those whose voices I seek to elevate through serving in my role.
“Being a midwife is an inspiring and extremely fulfilling role that requires a number of qualities including confidence, compassion and trust”.
What do you understand about the main duties and responsibilities of a midwife?
A midwife is responsible for providing care to women and baby during the antenatal, intranatal and postnatal periods time to time. Midwives provide high quality, culturally sensitive care during labor. They conduct a clean, safe delivery; give care to the newborn, and manage / refers emergencies effectively to prevent maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity. Manage complications in pregnancy and childbirth, in accordance with the principles of basic emergency obstetric care. Counsel and educate women, the family and the community, in relevant areas of health and provide a programme of parenthood preparation and a complete preparation for childbirth including advice on hygiene and nutrition. Gives support and advice on the daily care of the baby, including breastfeeding, bathing and making up feeds.
Provides all non-surgical methods of family planning, and counselling for surgical methods. Establishes midwifery and or health policies, procedures and objectives; continuous quality improvement initiatives; safety, environmental, and infection prevention standards. “A practicing midwife is responsible for providing midwifery care in accordance with such standards as the Council may specify. A midwife is also an educator just to mention a few.
What are your main strengths and how are these helping you to perform your role of a midwife?
Being a midwife is an inspiring and extremely fulfilling role that requires a number of qualities including confidence, compassion and trust. Every day is different, bringing with it assorted experiences and challenges, and I have the skills to respond to all of these appropriately and competently which gives me strength to fulfill my duties.
Which aspect of being a midwife you find the most challenging, and also the most rewarding?
The most challenging aspect of being a midwife is to have poor outcome, when you have been monitoring a woman in labour and all of a sudden she gets a non-reassuring CTG .It is very challenging to narrate the story to the family .It is very rewarding when the story is vice vasa. As a midwife you feel very happy to monitor labour and all goes well. Telling the family that they have a bouncing baby and the mother is in good condition is very rewarding.
The role of a midwife comes with a considerable amount of pressure and stress. How do you cope with stress of the job?
My personality helps me to cope up with stress. I have always taken it for granted that, to work in stress does not solve problems. I have been supported and valued by my supervisors, this has helped me to deal with emotional stress. When I was a junior midwife, I was lucky to have experienced midwife supervisors who served as supportive framework for other midwives to prevent burn out. And stress reduction to increasing resilience. The lessons learn from them gave me endurances to resist stress.
Edited and Submitted by Yvonne Delphine Nsaba Uwera, RM, BScN, MSN(MWH),
Midwife Educator at University of Rwanda
Member of Rwanda Association of Midwives (RAM)
The vision of the Rwanda Association of Midwives (RAM) is that midwifery becomes a core and basic service in all health facilities with maternal and newborn health services and that a midwife’s care is easily accessible to all Rwandans.
Copyright © 2020, RAM