A Decade of Dedication: Acan’s Midwifery Odyssey

As the world gathers to celebrate the International Day of the Midwife on May 5, we shine a spotlight on Acan Pamela Joseph, a lantern of compassion and an expert in her field. With nearly a decade of experience, Acan’s journey epitomizes the dedication, resilience, and unwavering commitment that defines the essence of midwifery.

Born and raised in a small yet very humble village of Paomo, Gaya parish, Pabbo sub-county, now a town council on the 25th day of October 1993 to her loving parents, Aber Rose, and the late Odoki Joseph, Acan is the sixth of ten children.

She went to Pabbo Primary School for her Primary Leaving Examination in 2008 where she later joined Pabbo Secondary School for her Uganda Certificate of Examination in 2012. Acan’s fascination with children and undying love for the ‘’ladies in white with lovely belts” started taking shape in 2013 when she joined St. Mary’s Midwifery Training School Kalongo where she attained her certificate in midwifery in 2015.

All the rigorous training and education paid up when she finally earned her certifications and licenses with distinction. Her passion, discipline, and fear of God gave her access to St. Mary’s Hospital Lacor when her school highly recommended her to the institution.

Acan started building a successful career for herself at Lacor-Pabbo Health Center III in November 2015, barely a month after leaving school. From the traverse hills of Kalongo to the delivery rooms of Lacor-Pabbo, Acan’s gentle demeanor and reassuring presence at the facility provided solace to countless mothers within the rural setting of Pabbo and beyond for five years before moving to the main St. Mary’s Hospital Lacor Complex in Gulu city in 2021.

Reflecting on the years of hardship, Acan talked about the financial challenges she faced during her journey to becoming a midwife. Being born into a poor family, she had dreams of pursuing higher education and becoming a medical doctor. But this was met with obstacles, chief among them being financial constraints.

As a young student, Acan realized that the cost of tuition, textbooks, and living expenses exceeded her family’s limited resources. She found herself struggling to balance her academic responsibilities with her financial obligations.

‘’Money was a very big problem. At times we would go to school and they would chase us. And the rebels would at times raid our school and we would run back home for safety,’’ she said. ‘’Throughout my academic journey, I drew strength and inspiration from my passion for becoming a medical doctor someday. The support from my family, friends, and mentors fueled my determination.’’

Her tenacity paid off as she is not only a certificate holder in midwifery but also now holds a diploma in midwifery and her journey to becoming what she wanted can’t get any clearer.

Once faced with a complication that threatened the life of both the mother and the baby, Acan’s quick thinking and calmness helped her to manage to deliver the baby and the mother safely.

Her outstanding performance at Lacor Hospital was eventually rewarded as the hospital offered her a full scholarship for her diploma.

‘’Our call is to love and serve with joy so we have to be kind to patients and we need to put God first in whatever we do so that the works of our hands are blessed. We have to consider the patient’s dignity and be loyal to them. Our priority is putting a smile on an expectant mother as they enter the delivery room and walk back home with their live babies. We should also control our emotions and treat them with love and care. Finally, we should extend our services to the hardest-to-reach part of the country so that no mother dies during and after delivery,” she remarks

Acan’s success stretches beyond the delivery room. She is a mentor and educator, she has inspired and empowered a new generation of midwives, by imparting her knowledge and wisdom with generosity and humility.

With over 500 safe deliveries under her belt, Acan says her dream of becoming a medical doctor is very much still alive.

“In two years, I hope to have saved enough money to go back to school and pursue a degree in medicine,” she says.

St. Mary’s Hospital Lacor employs 68 midwives in the three peripheral health centers in Opit, Pabbo, and Amuru as well as the hospital’s main complex in Gulu City.

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