Groote Schuur Hospital commemorates International day of the Midwife | Western Cape Government



Groote Schuur Hospital commemorates International day of the Midwife

5 May 2020

Sister Colleen Pockpas has been a midwife at Groote Schuur Hospital for 38 years and is looking forward to retiring in June this year. She has always had a soft spot for babies, help bringing them into the world, and ensure that both mothers and their newborns receive essential care. As #YearOfTheMidwife is commemorated today, Groote Schuur Hospital would like to thank Sister Pockpas and her colleagues for ensuring universal access to voluntary family planning and spacing, thereby reducing unintended pregnancies and the rate of abortions in the province.

This year’s International Day of the Midwife is commemorated under the theme, ‘Celebrate. Demonstrate. Mobilise. Unite.’ It aims to demonstrate the need for women from all backgrounds and professions to raise awareness about the status of midwives and the essential care they provide to mothers and their newborns.

As a midwife, Sister Pockpas has worked in a variety of areas in maternity. This includes the antenatal clinic, labour ward, theatre and newborns area. She loved working in every area, will no specific favorite. In her career, she has delivered hundreds of babies while working in labour ward. Sister Pockpas also worked on night duty for seven years. According to her, teaching and making a difference are what makes it special working at the hospital.

 “Being a midwife has not really changed. There is new technology to assist the midwife. But in terms of the heart nothing has changed. You need hard work, care and love to do the job for the mothers and the children. In the early days there was also more community work for the midwife to go into the community and assist the patients. The number of births has also escalated over the years,” says Sister Pockpas.

During the coronavirus pandemic, she has been working in the antenatal clinic and the area which screens every patient that comes into the building.  

Advising those who would like to become a midwife one day, Sister Pockpas says: “You must want to be a nurse because you love working with people. You will be making a difference in society because almost everyone will end up in a hospital sometime in their life. Be ready to work, its hard work but it’s a joy to make a difference.”

On International Day of the Midwife 2020, the International Confederation of Midwives is calling on midwives to become gender champions in their communities and to become stronger partners with women, as protectors and defenders of women’s rights.

Media Enquiries: 

Alaric Jacobs
Communications Officer
Groote Schuur Hospital
Cell - 083 412 5608