“A newborn‘s first cry, kicking legs and arms, the looks of relief and joy in the mother’s eyes when you say to her, ‘Congratulations! It’s a baby girl/boy!’” There is pride felt in these special moments that only a midwife can understand, according to Loveluck Mwasha, who has dedicated her life to caring for others.
Her mother inspired Loveluck early on in life: “[A] strong willed, loving and caring person who supported many underprivileged families, particularly, women and children … despite being a widow with moderate income by Tanzanian standards.”
Loveluck’s career in nursing started in 1983 after she graduated from the Muhimbili Medical Centre (now the Muhimbili University College of Health Sciences) with a diploma in nursing and midwifery. Since then, she hasn’t looked back and has been working for Aga Khan institutions for nearly 30 years.
Loveluck currently works as a full-time lecturer at the Aga Khan University School of Nursing and Midwifery (AKU-SONAM), Dar es Salaam campus. She teaches midwifery courses as well as some nursing units. What she finds most fulfilling in her work is seeing students who enjoy learning and transforming their ways of thinking and practice:
“This demonstrates growth in professional competence and confidence, moving from theory to practice by providing evidence-based care to clients. Also, discussions in post-clinical conferences where students share their ‘Aha!’ moments, their achievements, frustrations and how they managed the hurdles are simply rewarding for me. From a maternity care perspective, seeing women receive care from qualified, competent midwives in a respectful and dignified manner is what makes me happy.”
In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Loveluck served as the vice chairperson of the Tanzania Nursing and Midwifery Council (TNMC) for a three-year term between January 2015-2018. She is the vice president of the Tanzania Midwives Association (TAMA). In July 2017, she received the “Midwife for Life” award from the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) in Toronto, Canada. Through these leadership roles, Loveluck wishes to bring about an important change in maternal health care in Tanzania:
“…Recognition and strengthening of the midwifery profession independent of nursing. This is so that midwives are adequately prepared to meet the international standards. Well-prepared midwives can provide up to 87% of care required during pregnancy and childbirth. Always remember that ‘midwives save lives’.”
Watch this video “The heart of a midwife” for Loveluck’s extended interview.
This article was adapted from an interview of Loveluck Mwasha, by Martie Mtange, published on the AKU website.