May 25, 2023 3 min read

Sandanjalo Thobani Humphry Mngoma-Blose is an Advanced Midwife at Appelsbosch Hospital (Etsheni, South Africa) and Professional Nurse at Queensland Health. Blose has a BPsych, Diploma in Nursing (General, Community, Psych), Diploma in Midwifery, and Diploma in Neonatal Nursing. 


My name is Sandanjalo Thobani Humphry Mngoma-Blose. I am a 36 year old male Advanced Midwife. I was born in Ozwathini, a rural area in KwaZulu-Natal South Africa. 

During my schooling days, my wish was to become a doctor and pediatrician. Unfortunately, I was not good with mathematics and science, so I ended up doing psychology with an interest in becoming a clinical psychologist. Although I completed my junior degree in psychology, I did not receive a Master’s degree to register as a psychologist. 

With the help of the Health Department in South Africa, my dream to be in a medical field was rejuvenated. I got a bursary (scholarship) to study a four-year diploma in Nursing Science. The diploma encompasses general, community, psychiatric, and midwifery training. During the program, I was exposed to a number of different clinical areas in nursing, allowing me to identify my own areas of interest within medicine. Originally, I thought psychiatry was going to be the area that appealed to me the most. It was not. Emergency and midwifery lured my interest. 

For my professional placement after community service, I was working in the emergency unit. Due to relocation, I was soon placed in a maternity facility in a minor district hospital. I soon found out that the maternal facility was understaffed because nurses and trained midwives were scared of the high rates of obstetric litigation claims in the country. Despite this, I told myself that ‘I was where I wanted to be.’ 

Stepping into the maternity facility, I was immersed in a world of dedicated midwives and skilled medical officers. The practice of midwifery was not just a profession; it was a passion that drove these healthcare providers to provide the best care possible for women and their newborns. Within those walls, discussions and debates about various aspects of women's health and their babies were a common occurrence among the knowledgeable professionals. The shared goal was always clear: to ensure positive outcomes for every mother and child who entered their care.

While textbooks certainly provided a foundation of knowledge, it was the experienced midwives and medical officers who truly shaped my skills within the maternity facility. Working alongside these seasoned professionals, I quickly realized the invaluable lessons that could not be found within the pages of Pauline McCall Sellers or HS Cronje's textbooks*. 

Obstetric emergency management became ingrained in my mind through the guidance and mentorship of these skilled individuals. In a country facing a shortage of health personnel, their expertise and dedication inspired me to become an independent midwife at an early stage of my career. I took on the responsibility of a shift leader, and even performed duties that typically fell within the realm of advanced midwifery before receiving formal post-basic training in the field.

I further pursued my studies and successfully completed my Diploma in Midwifery and Neonatal Nursing Science. The journey was not without its challenges, but it was through this rigorous training that I developed strength and confidence in my role as a midwife. 

This is just the beginning of my story as a midwife. I am Sandanjalo Mngoma-Blose and I am a midwife. In South Africa, the nursing council recognizes male midwives as ‘accoucheurs,’ and I embrace that designation. You can refer to me using any term that signifies a birth attendant, as I proudly embody the role. Africa cares deeply, ensuring that no woman shall lose her life while bringing new life into the new world. 

 

*Pauline McCall Sellers authored the widely recognized book titled 'Midwifery: A Textbook and Reference Book for Midwives in Southern Africa', while HS Cronje is the author of 'Clinical Obstetrics: A South African Perspective'. These textbooks are extensively utilized in midwifery training programs across South Africa, serving as essential resources for aspiring midwives.

Story written by Sandanjalo Mngoma-Blose; Edited and developed by Kaitlyn Gosakti

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