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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...

Building the Momentum: Misoprostol for Postpartum Hemorrhage in Pakistan

By: Imtiaz Kamal; Originally posted by Family Care International

Imtiaz Kamal is the president of the Midwifery Association of Pakistan. She has led a “one-woman crusade” to promote the midwifery profession for more than 50 years.

In June 2013, all four provinces of Pakistan—Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) and Balochistan—included misoprostol for the prevention and treatment of postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) on their respective Essential Medicines Lists (EMLs). EMLs indicate medicines that “satisfy the priority health care needs of the population” and should be affordable and available at all times within the context of a functioning health system. As advocates working towards improving reproductive and maternal health in Pakistan, we’ve come a long way in our mission to expand access to misoprostol. In this post, I share our advocacy strategy and the challenges we faced. Read more...

Despite Newly Free Deliveries in Kenya, Some Mothers Opt for Traditional Birth Attendants

By: Mary Wairimu, Kenya News Desk; Originally posted on Global Press Institute

Although many mothers are taking advantage of newly free delivery services in Kenya’s public hospitals, some women still prefer traditional birth attendants. The government waived fees to lower the maternal mortality rate, as one in 55 women can currently expect to die from pregnancy-related causes in Kenya. Traditional birth attendants resent the government’s interference, which they say endangers their businesses. 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...

Corporate Buzz: Johnson & Johnson Supports Maternal Health Trainings in Nigeria

By: Denis Robson, Director of African Affairs, Johnson & Johnson

Despite the quiet and formal surroundings of Dr. Aminu Mai’s office, matters of birth and death are always at the front of his mind. As an obstetrician in Nigeria, where one expectant mother dies every 10 minutes through no fault of her own, Dr. Mai spends a lot of time thinking about how closely the two events are linked – and how important it is that the country’s birth attendants receive updated information and training to save lives. Read more...

Midwives Around the World Recognized on May 5

By: Smita Gaith, Women Deliver

May 5 is International Day of the Midwife, a globally recognized day to acknowledge the life-saving work of midwives.

According to the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), more than 340,000 women die preventable maternal deaths each year, and according to the World Health Organization, this number rose to 358,000 in 2008. For every woman who dies, an additional twenty experience infection, injury or disability. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Traditionally Attending Birth – Promoting Maternal Health Today

By Kate Ixer; Health Poverty Action is a winner of the Women Deliver 50.

TBAHealthPovertyAction.JPGIn April 2010, Sierra Leone introduced free health care for pregnant women and breast-feeding mothers to help reduce the maternal mortality and morbidity rate. Almost two years on from this watershed significant improvements have been made and many women have received the health care which they previously would not have been able to afford. Sierra Leone, a country where 70% of the population is living in extreme poverty, illustrates that free health care is crucial to improving women’s health rights. Read more... 

Corporate Buzz: Telecom Provider Honored for Maternal Health Mobile Innovation

By: Smita Gaith, Women Deliver

etisalat_phone.jpgTelecom provider Etisalat was recently honored at the GSM (Groupe Spéciale Mobile)Association Awards, for its new maternal health product. The company has received the awards for “Best Mobile Health Innovation” and “mWomen Best Mobile Product” for its innovative service program called “Etisalat Mobile Baby.”

Nearly all maternal mortality cases occur in developing countries, with 1 in 31 deaths occurring in sub-Saharan Africa. Many of these deaths can be prevented by ensuring greater access to information for health workers, more timely arrival at health facilities, and increased ability to recognize problems during pregnancy. Read more...

Reducing Maternal Mortality in Haiti

By: Nadene Brunk, Midwives for Haiti is a winner of the Women Deliver 50

MidwivesForHaiti.jpgMidwives For Haiti began educating Haitian women, in the skills that save mother's lives, in 2006. We began by teaching under trees, in the laundry room of a hospital, in an outdoor restaurant; wherever we could find room to teach and learn. With no textbooks in Creole, the native language of the majority of women in Haiti, we improvised and created teaching materials with our students. We learned that Haitian women are hungry for knowledge and have seen enough maternal and infant death to know they want to be a part of ending the suffering and grief. Read more...

Hesperian Launches Free Maternal Health App

Hesperian Health Guides has launched a free mobile application for iPhone which covers topics including pre-natal health, danger signs during pregnancy, birth and post-natal care, and 20 how-to items for health workers, such as how to take blood pressure. 

The app is designed to be accessible to those in rural settings. Once downloaded to an iPhone, the information can be accessed with no Internet connection required. Read more...

Women Deliver Partners with the International Museum of Women in Online Exhibition on Motherhood

Women Deliver is proud to partner with the International Museum of Women for the launch of their new, online exhibition MAMA: Motherhood Around the GlobeRead more...

Where There Are No Doctors, Who Can Deliver Health?

By: Carolyn S. Miles, President and Chief Executive Officer of Save the Children
Originally posted by: Huffington Post Impact

Frontline.jpgWhat do 1) Florence Nightingale, 2) Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, and 3) Heathcliff Huxtable have in common? Yes, all are famous health workers. But what more sets them apart from others like Dr. House or Doogie Howser, M.D.?

Tied to this answer is the key to addressing some of the world's greatest health challenges. Read more... 

 

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