Midwives take centre stage worldwide
Under the theme “The World Needs Midwives Today More Than Ever” International Midwives’ Day is slated to be observed tomorrow on a global scale.
And it is expected that the day will include among other features the joining of forces between midwives and their supporters around the world who will walk to raise awareness to tackle global inequalities in maternal and newborn health.
According to a statement issued by Nurse Grace Bond of the Guyana Nurses Association yesterday, the walk is intended to signal the start of a journey that finishes at the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) Congress in Durban, South Africa. This global gathering of close to 3000 midwives will share evidence of what works to reduce maternal mortality and improve the care and support available to mothers and newborns around the world.
To mark this event, in Guyana, midwives will be participating in a march and rally today to demonstrate their commitment to improving maternal and newborn care. The local activity is set to commence at the Ministry of Health at 07:00 hrs and end at the Umana Yana where Minister of Health, Dr Leslie Ramsammy will deliver the feature address.
Over 340,000 women die each year, with millions more suffering infection and disability, as a result of preventable maternal causes. Greater access to essential midwifery services and care reduces maternal and infant mortality and reduces the cycle of poverty in developing countries.
According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Health, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) will be among the collaborators that will be observing ‘International Day of the Midwife’.
To commemorate the occasion held each year on 5 May, WHO is working together with the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) to promote midwives as the prototype for the skilled birth attendant. Midwives are crucial for the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to reduce maternal and child mortality. To honour this day, WHO and ICM presented a report: Promoting the Health of Mothers and Newborns during Birth and the Postnatal Period from a pre-congress collaborative workshop held in Brisbane, Australia in July 2005.
The report chronicles key strategies identified at the pre-congress and participants discussions on current midwifery initiatives and programmes. Central themes underscore promoting the normal progress of labour and safe birth, prevention of postpartum haemorhage, and advocacy campaigns to promote the health and well-being of mothers and newborns in their countries.