The role of skilled birth attendants, in particular midwives and others with midwifery competencies, is widely acknowledged as being crucial to addressing maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity, and to promoting women’s and children’s health. An upcoming publication entitled The State of the World’s Midwifery, from UNFPA and a coalition of partners, will take stock of recent analyses showing that both midwifery personnel and services are unequally distributed - both between and within countries with high maternal and newborn mortality.
The report, which will be the first of its kind, is intended to facilitate midwifery strengthening around the world. It will provide new information and data gathered from 60 countries in all regions of the world, to:
- examine the number and distribution of health professionals involved in the delivery of midwifery services;
- explore emerging issues related to education, regulation, professional associations, policies and external aid;
- analyse global issues regarding health personnel with midwifery skills, most of whom are women, and the constraints and challenges that they face in their lives and work; and
- call for accelerating investments for scaling up midwifery services, as well as “skilling up” the respective providers.
The report will include statistical tables and applicable global standards, collating relevant midwifery information into one reference document.
The report will be released at the Triennial Congress of the International Confederation of Midwives in Durban, South Africa, 20 June 2011. Ministers of Health gathered at the World Health Assembly in Geneva, May 2011 will be invited to attend a briefing prior to its publication and launch. The report is aimed at policy-makers and programme managers (including ministers, advisers and local champions) development partners, aid organizations and all midwifery service providers.
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