Leon Fidele is an enthusiastic young male midwife with considerable number of qualities including confidence, compassion, and decision making abilities.
“The first day in maternity I was worried and asking myself how we will handle everything as a young male student midwife .I had opportunity to have great mentors and all went well , I learnt a lot and grew up since in midwifery “Says Leon Fidele.
When asked about what have been the most rewarding aspect of being a midwife Leon Fidele simply replied “the most rewarding aspects for me are empowering women throughout their pregnancies, during labor and in postpartum , supporting them through their delivery in a way that makes them feel honored, respected, and listened to, without compromising their health or the babies’ health. That moment when a baby delivers into your hands, and your hands are the first one that they touch, and the loving touch that has the mother once you put the baby skin to skin and the tears and thankful messages of the mother once she saw her babies’ face. It is a privilege and a very special gift to be able to be in that position. We act as the meaning of our name. Midwife means “with women”. I am privileged to work as a midwife and touch many lives.”
Although, the World Health Organization named the year 2020 as a year of Nurses and Midwives , celebrating nurses and midwives for their role in health care should be done daily not fixed on a certain dates.
“I was so thrilled to see a picture of a midwife in scrubs on Vogue magazine, normally we see mannequins, but this is showing that the world starts recognizing our value and role. I can’t wait to see more especially in our media here in Rwanda” added Leon.
Pregnancy and child birth is a critical time for mothers and families in general, providing quality and timely midwifery care is crucial in order to save both lives. Midwives are doing their best to unsure that mothers and babies receives good care. “Challenges and stress are part of our daily routine but we are there doing our best there but we did our best “says Leon.
Midwives should be offered all the support from families, health system and community in general. The lack of awareness on midwifery profession and the confusion of the scope of practice doesn’t help the profession to move forward. Midwives are also human being despite their work, that why the advocacy and support should be continuous.
“Losing a child at birth is one of the most devastating times for a mother, a family, and also for a midwife. That’s why when you are in this profession you must have the passion to it. It is a call not just a job, you act as a professional but also you wears may hurts as a counselor , a brother and supporter to the family who experiences the loss”. Says Leon.
The burnout, the stress and exhaustion is are also some of the feelings that health care workers experiences. “Midwives do not focus on themselves, we always wake up and go to work as we know that we are women’s voices and supporters. However, we still need also to heard and supported.
The sacrifices made by the health care professional who are on frontline in our health system needs to be recognised and appreciated. The physical and mental hardship that suffers midwives should be considered so that they receives timely support.
The support should not only be limited only on materials needed to provide quality midwifery care but also midwives should be supported in all other ways.
Even though there are many challenges that are still out there for midwives , the world still many more and Rwanda specifically. “Midwifery is a challenging and rewarding profession, so for someone to become a good midwife he/she must be a caring and compassionate person ready to assist and provide support and knowledge to women and their families “Added Leon Fidele.
Having a global recognition of Nursing and Midwifery work , is encouraging and it is a step forward. Rwanda Association of Midwife as an Advocate of Midwives in Rwanda encourages the Rwandan community , media and healthcare professionals to keep supporting , increasing awareness and valuing midwives and midwifery care .“I can encourage my fellow midwives who are experiencing stress or any other challenges to share them and ask for support. The only way to gain a voice is to be united in Association, with one strong voice, we will be able to be heard and advocate for our profession . Thank you for always bringing joy and support to our families and keep the good work. Concluded Leon Fidele .
We thank Leon Fidele IRADUKUNDA for his time during this interview.