Kingsley Musama is a direct-entry male midwife, who has been working for 4 years under the Ministry of Health, Zambia. He is the only midwife in the eastern part of Zambia, Muchinga province (Chama district), with a population of 11,880. Kingsley works at the Chikwa Rural Health Center, and being the only midwife in the area, he also provides midwifery services at 4 other clinics. ‘I work in a very remote and poor area, thus I came up with the idea of a better structure – which is providing services in the communities. This initiative that I took saved many women dying from complications’, said Kingsley. Among the services he offers to women and families in the community are: family planning counselling, breast cancer awareness, health and reproductive education. He has set up focus groups in his community, where he educates mothers on safe motherhood, also encouraging exclusive breastfeeding. His contribution has helped reduce the maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity levels, which dropped considerably in the eastern part of Zambia. He is also working with the government to encourage women to deliver in closest health facilities, and not at home. ‘I feel proud to be making a difference as a midwife’ said Kingsley.
Kingsley has changed the lives of many families by offering family planning education. He advises families by giving them short-term and long-term family planning advice. Both parents usually come to consult Kingsley during the antenatal period, as fathers prefer to be involved in the process as well and support their wives. Kingsley also advises couples on contraception and health education. ‘However, there are many challenges that I’m facing in my everyday work: lack of electricity, shortage of equipment, no motorbikes to take women to nearest health facilities. I would like to help as many women as possible, despite all the difficulties’, said Kingsley. He once assisted a woman who delivered in a bush, and she started bleeding heavily. Due to birth complications her newborn could not be saved, and the mother was having postpartum haemorrhage (PPH). This was her 10th pregnancy, and her uterus was overstretched – which was one of the reasons she experienced PPH. Kingsley took her to the nearest health facility where PPH was successfully managed. Later, he advised the mother and her husband about long-term family planning, as well as healthy timing between pregnancies. It is an intervention to help women and families delay their pregnancies to achieve the healthiest outcomes for women, newborns, infants, and children, within the context of informed choice, taking into account the desired family size. Thinking ahead, Kingsley would like to pursue and advance his midwifery education. He aims to reach and help as many families as possible in his community, and continue making a difference.