The Ghana Health Service has written to government to help retain about 500 midwives who are due for retirement by 2016.

The Director General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Ebenezer Appiah-Denkyira said the move is to ensure that there is availability of midwives to enhance health delivery particularly in the rural areas.

Ghana currently does not have enough midwives in the country, as 2010 statistics indicated that Ghana needs an additional 8,000 midwives to fill the gap if maternal health is to be improved.

"The challenge that we are facing is that 500 midwives between this year and next year are going on pension and so we've written to the government to help us to retain them where they are as we accelerate the production of more midwives," Dr. Appiah-Denkyira told Accra-based TV3.

Dr. Appiah-Denkyira believes the private sector can help by absorbing those midwives who will be retiring.

"Ghana needs the people but the ability to engage them is the problem because of the financial ceiling. The World Bank came and saw that the government has become the major employer and for a country that is developing into a middle country status, it should not be," he added.