Prominent Nimba Midwife Laid to Rest

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Mrs. Ellen Tennie Zeah, who was one of the prominent midwives from Nimba County and died recently in the United States of America, was laid to rest on Saturday, August 10, 2019 at the Nimba United Cemetery in Paynesville City. She was 66.

She died in Huntsville Hospital, USA on July 21, 2019 following a period of illness.

The late Madam Zeah, affectionately known as “Sensee” was among the many Nimba Women, who brought modern midwifery in the county during the height of the country’s civil war (1989-2003).

Through her love for the midwifery profession, she then trained many of her other women as Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs), who then helped to prevent many children from dying at birth.

She established a clinic in Gbarlay, her home Village, which remains an institution for the training of TBAs, while catering to the sick, especially women and children.

“We have lost a hero, because, if it had not been for her intervention in the health system within our community during the war years, many women childbearing mothers would have died in labor,” recalled a sympathizer.

“We are saddened by her passing, because Ellen’s contributions were so immense,” one of her childhood friends, Arthur Leweh, eulogized.

Since the death of Ellen was announced, tributes have poured in on social media, because of her numerous contributions to society, one of which is the clinic she established in the Ninkweah Chiefdom, which comprises 17 towns. It serves several other catchment communities along the Liberian/Ivorian border.

Sensee was also socially inclined to the extent that she organized an all-girls social club, culture troupe and the all-women Gblarka Club.

Through those activities, she educated some of war-affected young girls and women about preventive or reproductive health.

The late Ellen T. Zeah was born on June 6, 1953 unto the union of Mr. Samuel Simone Tennie, an ex police officer, and Mrs. Martha Wandah Tennie in Nimba County.

Ellen obtained her high school education from William V. S. Tubman High School in Monrovia, and later acquired her midwifery training from Esther Baker School of Nursing and Midwifery in Zorzor, Lofa County.

The Late Ellen is survived by four children, Pauline, Korboi, Jaynaweh and Fokpa, who predeceased her.

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