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Building off of Friends of UNFPA’s campaign that aims to recognize and showcase the excellent work of our staff around the world, DHR-TMB is thrilled to spotlight our amazing staff at UNFPA!

Eke Henriette is the midwifery adviser for UNFPA DRC. She represents and models exceptional commitment UNFPA’s mandate having made positive impact in the area of maternal health. Henriette’s efforts led to the recognition of midwifery as a separate profession from nursing and a cornerstone for the improvement of maternal and newborn health in the country

She advises UNFPA management and national counterparts on design, planning, implementation, monitoring, evaluation, reporting, advocacy, resource mobilization and oversight on the midwifery profession-education, association and legislation

Henriette became a midwife because of the exceptional joy on the face of a mother when presented her baby for the first time. She resolved to help many families avoid the pain that she went through after a close family relative died from complications of pregnancy. Henriette who is so passionate about midwifery chose this profession to contribute to making child birth a happy event

“I made a promise to pregnant mothers and myself-multiply the numbers of persons with my competencies and values such that all women wherever they are could benefit from quality and skilled care and services before, during and after pregnancy” concludes Henriette who has contributed to the pre and in-service training of more than 5,000 midwives working all over the country.

The midwife in the community counsels and advices women and their families on sexual and reproductive health including family planning; accompanies pregnant women with advice and care; prepares the delivery plan with the mother; ensures safe child birth and offers postnatal care to both mother and baby. Well trained, the midwife can carry out 80 % of reproductive, maternal, new born, child and adolescent health (RMNCAH) care and services

Important qualities of midwifery are patience, availability, kindness, efficiency and discretion. Anyone aspiring to be a midwife must first love the profession and not base their decision on personal interests. Midwifery is above all a vocation. A total commitment to advance RMNCAH. Without this basis, the best training will never succeed to make one a good midwife. Henriette portrays all these in her daily actions confirms her colleagues.

In 2011 the national midwifery association was without active and recognized members. Today, thanks to Henriette’s hard work and dedication and with the support of UNFPA management, it now counts more than 1,000 active members, numerous provincial committees and enjoys great visibility both inside and outside the country and several partners join forces with UNFPA to support the midwifery profession.

Henriette has received various distinctions within and outside UNFPA for her contribution to improving RMNCAH. She shall never forget her counseling that led to the delivery of a baby girl whom the parents named after her.