About 43 students, comprising 27 females and 16 males, are expected to graduate from the Midwifery Training Program South Eastern Region on Saturday, May 20. This ceremony marks the 11th Graduation exercises and will be held at the school’s compound located in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County.
A press release quotes the Chair of the Graduation Program Committee, Wede Williams, as saying the students will be awarded diplomas in Midwifery following three years of studies at the institute. Madam Williams describes this year’s graduation as significant because it will coincide with the official naming program of the school in honor of the late Deanna Kay Isaacson, ELCA Missionary to the Lutheran Church in Liberia from 1966-2000. Deanna was seconded from CHAL to the MOH to start-up the school and served there as the program Developer, working with the MOH and partners to establish and manage the school. Grand Kru County Health Officer, Dr. Augustine Fannieh, will serve as Guest speaker at the occasion. The six counties of the southeastern region include Grand Gedeh, Rivercess, River Gee, Sinoe, Grand Kru and Maryland. According to the release, the graduates consist; Grand Gedeh - 16 graduates (10 females, 6 males), River Gee - 5 graduates (1 male, 4 females), Maryland - 7 graduates (5 females and 2 males); Grand Kru - 7 graduates (4 males, 3 females); Sinoe - 7 graduates (4 females, 3 males), and Rivercess -1 graduate (female). The Midwifery Training Program South Eastern Region was established in 1983 by the Ministry of Health with support from the UNICEF to address the acute shortage of trained health workers, especially midwives within the southeast. Prior to the outbreak of the Liberian civil crisis, the school had operated for seven years and already graduated 50 Certified Midwives. The school reopened in 2008 with funding to the MOH from the McCall-MacBain Foundation with the International NGO, MERLIN as managing partner in collaboration with the Ministry of Health. The school has been graduating registered midwives since in 2011 with the approval of the MOH and the Liberian Board of Nursing and Midwifery (LBNM). Since reopening in 2008, the school has graduated about 140 students and by the May 20 date of graduation, the Midwifery Training Program South Eastern Region would have graduated a total number of 235 certified midwives/registered midwives.