For the second year in a row, the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs is honoring and supporting midwives as role models through embassies abroad through the ‘Midwives4all’ campaign, at the same time raising global awareness of midwives’ contribution to heroism, survival, social changes and tireless work. Read the interview with Ms Fatime Tahiri Berisha, a midwife working in the municipality of Peja, and honoured in the “Midwives4all” campaign.
Fatime works as a midwife in the municipal hospital of Peja since 1978. In 1973, she registered at the high school for Midwives in Mitrovica. Her decision to enter the profession is related to personal experience. “I was the only one of my siblings born in a hospital. When my mother gave birth to me, she struggled with severe labor complications, but with the help of the midwives working at the time, she was able to deliver a healthy baby. I felt like I wanted to help women in the same situation like my mother and this is what led me to pursue my dreams of becoming a midwife”.
At the time when she started working as a midwife, the working conditions were very difficult. For six years, they did not have a single gynecologist at the hospital, except on very few occasions. This led the midwives in Peja to do more than what usually follows with the profession. At the same time, the equipment used was not up to date and more resources were needed in general.
Today, she still sees the need for better equipment and more working staff, but overall she can note a significant improvement in comparison to how the situation was like one decade ago. “Now, there are six gynecologists working full time at the hospital and regular training is offered to the midwives, with the support of the international community. In addition to this, the working shifts do not exceed eight hours and our salaries have been raised.”
Fatime finds particular joy in transferring her knowledge to new midwives. She adds that her colleagues motivate her, and together they strive towards giving the mothers the best care possible. “Giving birth is something that a woman will remember for the rest of her life, which is why it is so important to make sure that women feel secure and that the experience is positive.”