The Ondo State Government on Wednesday organised a training programme for traditional midwives (Agbebiye).
The programme was to enable the participants acquire vocational skills with a view to reducing maternal mortality in the state.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Dayo Adeyanju, told the News Agency of Nigeria that the skills acquisition programme would empower the participants drawn from Akure South Local Government Area of the state.
Adeyanju also said there was the need to partner with the midwives, especially in the referral of patients to the state-owned Mother and Child Hospital.
According to him, this will enable pregnant women and nursing mothers access better health care services provided by government.
“We have created better job opportunity by empowering them and ensuring they have a job; this is why we are asking them to be referring their patients to state-own hospital.
“We are training them under a skills acquisition programme using Akure South Local Government as a pilot phase,” he said.
He said participants would benefit from micro credit facilities to enable them start their own businesses.
NAN reports that participants were being trained on catering services, soap making, beads making as well as tie and dye.
Mrs Funmilola Oluwadare, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Maternal Death Reduction, also said the programme would curb illegal activities of traditional midwives.
Oluwadere, however, appealed to the midwives to abide by the rules given to them by the state government.
One of the participants, Mrs Omonilale Fasakin, commended the state government over the initiative, saying it had created an alternative means of earning a livelihood.