As International Day of the Midwife is observed, major emphasis is being placed on the fact that there is a dire need for midwives globally.
According to a statement issued by the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), “The world needs midwives now more than ever!”
According to the ICM as the world’s midwives marked International Day of the Midwife on May 5 (yesterday), the ICM began calling on world leaders to allocate more resources for midwives.
It is against this background the ICM has noted that the upcoming G8 meeting in Canada will seek to highlight the need to reduce maternal and newborn morbidity and mortality, globally. The midwifery workforce, according to ICM, has been identified as essential to achieve this goal. “Midwives help save the lives of mothers and their newborn and without more midwives over half a million women will continue to die needlessly from pregnancy related complication each year”, said ICM President Bridget Lynch.
ICM is calling on Governments to strengthen midwifery worldwide, as midwives can help prevent up to 90 percent of maternal deaths when they are supported to provide basic life-saving skills in functioning health systems.
And it is the conviction of the ICM that it is an ‘international scandal’ that one woman dies every minute of every day because she is pregnant, especially when most deaths are preventable.
Lynch has duly emphasised that “the provision of an extra 350,000 midwives worldwide is even more urgent when we consider that every year 1.5 million newborns die within the first 24 hours of life and millions of women suffer long lasting disability because they do not have access to basic healthcare during childbirth.”
International Day of the Midwife was established to raise awareness of the role of midwives in countries worldwide. This year ICMs global partners are joining their 96 member associations to highlight the midwifery workforce.
During this month the White Ribbon Alliance and the Maternal Mortality Campaign are set to launch a “Midwives are Super Heroes” campaign and Save the Children is releasing its annual report “State of the World’s Mothers”, which recognizes the role of midwives in saving newborn lives in low resource countries.
In addition, the World Health Organisation (WHO), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) and the World Bank are hosting a global Midwifery Symposium in Washington DC in June.
This meeting will bring together global partners to strengthen the role of midwives in promoting and protecting maternal and newborn health globally.
“This year marks a significant recognition of the absolute necessity to grow a strong global midwifery workforce,” Lynch has said.
Strengthening midwifery, she added, must be a priority for all governments of the world if achieving the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 is to be realised, hence the world needs midwives now more than ever!”
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