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Libya Dr Jemima Araba Dennis-Antwi

Midwife & Nurse
A Day in the life of CTG Staff
In Libya, the entire health system of Midwifery and Nursing is weak and under pressure.

Midwives and nurses are often the first point of call in the health services. When they have been trained to global standards, licensed, and regulated, and supported in an enabling environment within interprofessional teamwork, they can avert over 80% of all maternal deaths, stillbirths and neonatal deaths. At the same time, they can improve over 50 other health-related outcomes by virtue of their ability to provide other essential services. 

Based on evidence and observations, there is the need for critical technical assistance to strengthen its structures in many areas, from leadership and governance to regulation and accreditation. The goal of the project I’m consulting on is to help create an acceptable framework – alongside the Ministry of Health, UN and development partners, international and local NGOs – that will guide actions and dramatically improve the midwifery and nursing system over the next 10 years. I’m proud to be a part of it.

I started as a Clinical Nurse, Midwife and Public Health Nurse in Ghana. My journey began with my bachelor’s degree in Nursing from the University of Ghana in Legon, followed by my License Examinations in General Nursing, Midwifery and Public Health Nursing. For three years I worked in the Ministry of Health in Ghana and then took the opportunity to do my Master’s in Health Promotion and Health Education at Edinburgh University. Leading on from there I returned to Ghana, playing various leadership roles in the Ministry of Health in nursing, midwifery, capacity building, projects management, research, and health education to mention a few.

But I wasn’t finished with my education. I then undertook a PhD in Social Sciences at DeMontfort University, in Leicester, in the UK. I then moved from the public health sector to work with International Health Agencies/NGOs working in Ghana or abroad and bring my expertise to bear on local and international boards.

I’ve had many mentors along the way. Over time, the expertise I had acquired over years of experience became relevant internationally to address gaps in countries with levels of weakness in midwifery and nursing systems.

I enjoy strengthening the professions that I belong to. It is also a joy when the work is completed, and the country identifies with the product and drives the implementation of recommendations. It is a further joy when the country returns to you and requests that you provide another related service. It is a sign that the previous work was well appreciated and relevant. It is ultimately a service to God and humanity.

You might not know but 2021 is the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife. Working in this field continues to inspire me and I was humbled when the Ministry of Health Ghana recognised my role in the establishment of the first Specialist post-graduate College for Nurses and Midwives in Ghana in May this year. I have had the privilege of serving as its first President and Acting Rector between 2013 to 2018. I established 10 specialist programmes starting with 35 residents. To date, over 400 residents are undertaking various programmes.

A person suited to this work must foremost have expertise in the technical field, self-discipline, strong affiliation for independent work, good interpersonal communication, diplomacy, be prepared to work long hours and deliver work guided by time frames and be receptive to the diversification of schedules and deliverables.

Thank you to my CTG Account Manager-Amel Eddiri El Mufti for her great support and for always addressing my administrative needs. I also receive security briefings regularly and receive commendable security support from Mr Omar Zenaty. So far, my work is progressing smoothly and I’m enjoying the challenge.

Gain some helpful and valuable insights from Dr Jemima Dennis-Antwi by watching her interview on Nursing and Midwifery practice in Ghana and what role can be played by Diaspora Health Care professionals.