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The Lancet: Midwifery Matters “More Than Ever”

Experts urge global leaders to recognise midwifery’s “vital potential” to save lives of women and infants worldwide

Midwifery has a crucial part to play in saving the lives of millions of women and children who die during and around the time of pregnancy, according to a major new Series, published in The Lancet.The Series, produced by an international group of academics,  clinicians, professional midwives, policymakers and advocates for women and children, is the most critical, wide-reaching examination of midwifery ever conducted.

It shows the scale of the positive impact that can be achieved when effective, high-quality midwifery is available to all women and their babies.  Apart from saving lives, it also improves their continuing health and wellbeing and has other long-lasting benefits.The authors also produce evidence of a trend towards the overmedicalisation of pregnancy, and the use of unnecessary interventions such as caesarean sections, in high-income and lower-income countries, with consequent hazards and costs. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Midwives Changing Lives of Women and Communities of Myanmar

By: Rehema Namukose, Women Deliver

When a community has access to trained midwives, the health of women and their children will improve, creating healthier families and communities. However, 70 percent of Myanmar’s population that live in rural areas barely have access to basic health education and information about maternal and child health care services. Many have no knowledge about basic reproductive health services like birth spacing, pre-and post natal care, and safe delivery services, all of which  can be provided by a skilled midwife.

The country’s health care system was ranked the second worst in the world by WHO in 2000, and that is why the government has been working ever since with many partners, including global civil society organizations, to make access to health care services a reality for all. A project intervention by Marie Stopes International Myanmar (MSIM) and Myanmar Nurse and Midwife Association (MNMA) is training young midwifery professionals known as Volunteer Midwives (VMWs) and placing them in villages in urgent need of health care services in the Ayeyarwaddy and Yangon regions of Myanmar. Read more...

Investment in Midwifery can Save Millions of Lives of Women and Newborns

New report reveals major gaps in midwives’ services in 73 high-burden countries

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC (3 June 2014) – A report released today by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund together with the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners reveals that major deficits in the midwifery workforce occur in 73 countries where these services are most desperately needed. The report recommends new strategies to address these deficits and save millions of lives of women and newborns.

The 73 African, Asian and Latin American countries represented in the State of the World’s Midwifery 2014: A Universal Pathway – A Woman’s Right to Health suffer 96 per cent of the global burden of maternal deaths, 91 per cent of stillbirths and 93 per-cent of newborn deaths, but have only 42 per cent of the world’s midwives, nurses and doctors. The report urges countries to invest in midwifery education and training to contribute to closing the glaring gaps that exist. Investments in midwifery education and training at agreed international standards can yield – as a study from Bangladesh shows – a 1,600 per cent return on investment. Read more...

Strengthening Midwifery Care: Improving Quality, Addressing Challenges

Six international organizations, as well as multilateral, civil society and private sector partners are hosting the Second Global Midwifery Symposium in Kuala Lumpur on 26-27 May. The event focuses on strengthening quality, life-saving midwifery care. If all women delivered with a competent, well equipped midwife, two thirds of maternal and newborn deaths could be averted and roughly 3.6 million lives saved by 2015. Read more...

Voices of Advocates Part 2: Caesarean Births (Chile)

Originally posted on ThinkBrigade

This opinion piece is published in collaboration with Women Deliver 100 Young Leaders, liaised by Bijoyeta Das. Gonzalo Infante Grandón is one of the 100 Young Leaders for 2012-2013.

In the new millennium (2000-2011), there have been nearly 3 million births in Chile (2,751,540 to be exact), 75% of them in the public sector, and the remaining 25% in private institutions. Trends showing the increase in caesareans are clear: while in the year 2000 the total number (that includes both public and private medical institutions) of caesareans represented 36% of all births, in 2011 this figure reached 48%. Read more...

World Contraception Day: Educating Young People About Their Health and Rights

By: Gonzalo Infante Grandón, Women Deliver 100 Young Leader from Chile

 

 

 

This blog is part of a series, edited by Women Deliver, in partnership with Impatient Optimists, on youth perspectives to celebrate World Contraception Day. Share your thoughts in comments and join the conversation at #WCD2012. For more stories and to get involved further visit No Controversy.

When addressing the sexual and reproductive health needs of young people in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), we must first identify the many obstacles they face. Read more...

The Lancet and Global Partners Collaborate on Midwifery Care Efforts

The Lancet, a scientific journal, has joined an international team of 35 researchers in creating a special series on midwifery for May/June 2013.

The collaboration, which is supported by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, will examine important areas of reproductive, maternal and newborn care that are within the scope of midwifery services, and increase the evidence available to guide and promote development of midwifery services, in order to improve maternal, newborn, and infant health outcomes. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Service Scheme Increases Midwives in Rural Nigeria

By:  Smita Gaith, Women Deliver

Nigeria’s maternal deaths account for 14% of the world’s maternal mortality, with the risk of dying from complications in pregnancy and childbirth as high as 1 in 29. However, a new service scheme is beginning to show some promise. 

The solution is called the Nigerian Midwives Service Scheme (MSS). Read more...

Corporate Buzz: Intel and UNFPA Increase Training and Technology to Improve Maternal Health

By: Smita Gaith, Communications and Program Intern

Intel.jpgIntel Corporation and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) have recently announced their partnership to increase skills and knowledge of health workers around the world. The joint endeavor is part of Intel’s efforts to maintain and build on its commitment to the United Nations’ Every Woman, Every Child initiative, which is focused on training 1 million community health workers by 2015. Read more...

Making Life: A Risky Proposition, A Diane Sawyer 20/20 Special

ABC News continues its year-long global health series by examining the most dangerous thing a woman can do: why so many women are dying during pregnancy and childbirth. Diane Sawyer and a team of correspondents report on a special edition of “20/20,” Friday, Dec.16 on ABC.

New York, NY, December 12, 2011 -- The numbers are staggering: every 90 seconds, a woman dies during pregnancy or childbirth – that’s about 1,000 women a day. Yet experts say that more than 80% of these deaths are totally preventable if only the mothers-to-be received proper medical care. At the bottom of the list, countries like Afghanistan, with its child brides, and Sierra Leone, which has one of the highest fertility rates in the world. The US ranks surprisingly low in the industrialized world -- number 41 on the maternal mortality list. It is an issue that experts all over the world say is “unforgiveable” because even the most basic medicine and intervention could prevent the majority of these deaths. Read on...

Maternal Health Advocate Robin Lim Named CNN Hero Of The Year

Last night, maternal health advocate Robin Lim accepted the CNN 2011 Hero of the Year award, telling the audience, “Every mother counts, and health care is a human right.” Lim is the founder of the Yayasan Bumi Sehat health clinics in Indonesia which provide free antenatal, birthing and postnatal care; capacity-building and training for local midwives; and community outreach on maternal health. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Programs In Nigeria Set The Bar High

By: Lindsey Taylor Wood, Communications Associate

In Northern Nigeria, 1 in 23 women will die in pregnancy or childbirth. In fact, 10% of maternal deaths, globally, occur there; and rates of newborn and child mortality are also amongst the highest in the world. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Bringing Light and Improved Economic Livelihoods to Rajasthan

By: Madeline Taskier, Strategic Partnerships Associate at Women Deliver

barefoot.jpgAt only 12 years old, Kavita* stopped attending school to help her family with housework. By 15, she was married to a man from a village in the Ajmer District of Rajasthan, a western state in India. In this new village, she taught young children during the day and attended classes at night to improve her literacy. It was through this local literacy program, Kavita was approached by leaders of The Barefoot College; a new initiative trying to develop a cohort of female solar engineers. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Mobile Community Health Workers Reach Ethnic Minorities in Burma

By: Madeline Taskier, Partnership Coordinator at Women Deliver

burma.jpgDecades of conflict between the military junta and ethnic minority groups in Burma have internally displaced approximately 440,000 people from their homes and forced them into informal settlements, but a network of community health workers are working to make a difference. The Mobile Obstetrics Maternal Health Workers (MOM) Project provides high-impact and mobile emergency obstetric care, family planning, and essential pre-natal care to women and families in these settlements. Read more...

Midwives Can Be the Voice Heard Around the World

By: Joy Marini, Director Corporate Contributions, Johnson & Johnson

HBB-workshop-ICM.JPGAt the opening ceremony of the International Confederation of Midwives 29th Triennial Conference in Durban, South Africa on Sunday, a hall full of midwives joined voices to sing "One Love", Bob Marleys anthem of compassion for humankind. As a witness I can report that you have not heard the power of a collective voice until youve heard 3,000 midwives singing about their love and commitment to mothers and babies: Hear the children crying... lets get together and feel all right. Read more...

Midwives Save Lives: Launch of The State of the World’s Midwifery 2011

Nearly 3.6 million lives could be saved in 58 developing countries around the world with scaled-up midwifery services, according to a report launched today by UNFPA and partners called The State of the World’s Midwifery 2011. Of these 58 countries, 38 were found to be lagging behind in meeting MDG 5 (reducing maternal mortality by 75%). Unless an additional 112,000 midwives are trained, deployed and retained in supportive environments, these 38 countries might not meet their target to achieve 95 percent coverage of births by skilled attendants by 2015, as required by Millennium Development Goal 5, on maternal health. Globally, 350,000 midwives are still lacking. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Haitian Midwives Use Next-Generation Birth Kit to Prevent Postpartum Hemorrhage

By: Rati Bishnoi, Special Projects Intern at Women Deliver

Mva_pak_contents_2011.jpgThe most recent graduates from Midwives for Haiti are some of the first health professionals on the island nation to use an obstetric kit specially equipped to prevent death from excessive bleeding after childbirth. Read more...
 

Marching to Celebrate the Indispensable Midwife

By: Joy Marini, Director of Corporate Contributions for Johnson & Johnson, Maternal and Child Health 

midwives.jpgOne day after the International Day of the Midwife, I am gathering with colleagues in Africa to discuss how we can help address the shortage of global health workers.

In sub-Saharan Africa, many women give birth alone, and without a skilled attendant such as a midwife, there is no one to address the complications of child delivery or to advise a pregnant woman to seek more skilled care. In fact, more women in this region die during pregnancy and childbirth than any other place on earth – claiming as many as one in eight lives. Read more...

International Day of the Midwife

By: Janna Oberdorf, Director of Communications and Outreach for Women Deliver

Today, May 5th, is International Day of the Midwife. The world needs midwives now more than ever. The World Health Organization, UN agencies and other global partners have identified that midwives are key to achieving reductions in maternal and newborn deaths and disabilities globally, yet there is a serious shortage. Read more... and get inspired by three midwives honored on the Women Deliver 100 list of the most inspiring people delivering for girls and women, below.

Juliette_Coulibaly.jpgImtiaz_Kamal.jpgdorothy-ngoma.JPG

Juliette Coulibaly, Côte d'Ivoire / Imtiaz Kamal, Pakistan / Dorothy Ngoma, Malawi

On World Health Day, Learning From Half a Century of Experience in Maternal Health

By: Conrad Person, Director, Corporate Contributions, Johnson & Johnson

Today, the world marks World Health Day with ambitious goals for advancing the wellbeing of all people – with a special focus on women and children, whose fates are inextricably linked to overcoming poverty through the Millennium Development Goals. It is a time to celebrate how much progress we have made on issues like clean water and safe birth, but also a chance to reflect on the staggering gaps in health resources for women that still exist between developed and developing countries, and how we can address them. Read more...

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