History of midwifery in Ghana
The role of the midwife in the health care delivery system in Ghana was founded as
far back as 1917 over concerns of infant well being (Ofosu-Amaah 1981). Concerned
about the high mortality among infants, the government at the time set up a committee
to investigate the courses.The committees reports revealed that poor midwifery
practice and particularly inadequate postnatal care to both mother and infant were the
main causes of the high infant mortality rate. The committee recommended that the
government should open maternity hospitals and train midwives to attend to mothers
and their babies.
Consequently, in 1927 the government selected two districts in the capital city
of Accra to start domiciliary midwifery in Ghana. Two African midwives trained in
England were employed to work there. These midwives were encouraged to work
with and give practical demonstration to traditional midwives to improve their skills.
A year later, the Korle Bu Maternity Hospital was opened in Accra to provide
professional midwifery care and training. This hospital remains the main teaching
hospital and reference centre in Ghana to this day. In 1930, the first batch of the
locally trained midwives graduated. In 1931, legislation for the training, examination,
registration and practice of midwifery was promulgated.In 1932, the first midwife
ordinance was passed and the Central Midwives Board constituted. All midwives who
graduated from 1930 were thus formally issued their certificates of registration.
As the years went by, other maternity hospitals and midwifery training schools
were opened in the various regions of Ghana. There are also many private maternity
homes and hospitals scattered throughout the country which participate as training
sites, leading to a wide network of midwifery training facilities.