The Midwives Association of Kenya (MAK) has asked the State to support training of midwives to reduce a shortage of these nurses.
According to MAK chairperson Louisa Muteti, Kenya has only 2,000 midwives out of 25,000 nurses.
She said more midwives should be trained to produce high quality professionals and reduce maternal deaths arising from improper deliveries.
Addressing journalists at Pwani University in Kilifi during the MAK third annual scientific conference yesterday, Muteti said an anatomised survey conducted in 2014 and released in February this year showed that nine out of 10 mothers who died while giving birth perished due to poor service delivery.
“The ration of midwives to mothers in the country is very small and in most cases in busy hospitals one midwife attends to more than 10 mothers and this is against the World Health Organisation requirements,” she said.
The week-long conference brought together more than 300 nurses from the 47 counties.
Kilifi County Health executive Dr Anisa Omar said the nursing department, which comprises midwives, faces a shortage of human resource.
"Sometimes you get a single nurse in a dispensary and she is supposed to provide all services,” he said.