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Minister re-ignites debate on male midwives

Kampala- The State Minister for Higher Education, Mr John Chrysostom Muyingo, has reignited the debate on male midwives, asking nursing bodies to revisit their policies.

Speaking at the release of nurses’ examination results at the Uganda Nurses and Midwives Examinations Board (Unmeb) offices in Ntinda yesterday, Dr Muyingo said it is discriminatory to exclude male midwives from the profession yet their counterparts in gynaecology help women during delivery. “Go back and look at your policies. We have male doctors who are treating women. They go in theatre when a mother is giving birth by C-section. If doctors are allowed to be males, why then should you discriminate these young boys who want to be midwives?” he asked.Mr Muyingo’s remarks came after Ms Helen Mukakalisa, the Unmeb executive secretary, reported that out of 277 candidates who registered for midwifery, there was no male student.

She said they have had discussions with different stakeholders and reports show that male midwives who are already in the field are doing better than their female counterparts.

Mr Asuman Lukwago, the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, yesterday said he needed to make a lot of consultations from various stakeholders since most communities have complained about male midwives.

He argued that male doctors have suffered the same resistance in some areas, especially when they look young.

Mr Lukwago also said previously, they were training in comprehensive nursing which comprised of both midwifery and nursing “but were now going into specialisation after complaints from some of the comprehensive nurses said the work was too much”.

“Our community was complaining. It also happens to doctors who are still young. The women get intimidated because they do not want to be looked at in their private areas by young people, Mr Lukwago said.

“Since these training institutions were taken to ministry of Education, we take long to sit and discuss but I am going to make more consultations on this,” he added.

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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