What inspired you to become a midwife?
I wanted to work with mothers and help them. Our maternal mortality rate in Uganda is still high so I also want to work hand in hand with others [health professionals] so that we can lower this.
What does your work entail on a typical day?
When I am not in class teaching, I work in antenatal care, family planning, the young child clinic, and the labor suite and maternity ward.
What has been your most memorable experience as a midwife?
I remember when I was doing an internship at Mulago Hospital, we were faced with a patient with severe postpartum hemorrhage—that is bleeding after someone has given birth. It was terrible. We nearly lost that mother, but we saved her life.
The WHO has declared 2020 as the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, what does that mean for you as a midwife?
It’s an opportunity to portray what we do in hospitals as well as our community. Nurses and midwives are the ones who provide care right from the beginning—when someone enters into a medical facility—up to the time of their discharge.
What do you want people to know about midwives?
Midwives don’t wait to be told to do this or that because they themselves have the ability to prescribe and carry out the prescription where necessary. We work independent of other health workers to help save the life of the mother and the baby. Those are two people in the hands of the midwife. It is nice to be a midwife because you are saving both lives. If the mother comes out of delivery well and the baby is alive, you smile.
*Photo Credit: Seed Global Health
Vicky Caroline Achayo is a midwife and Teaching Assistant at Lira University Hospital, Uganda.