Global Midwifery Symposium II

The second Global Midwifery Symposium is took place on the 26th and 27th of May in Kuala Lumpur. It was titled "Strengthening Quality Midwifery Care: Making Strides, Addressing Challenges".  

The two-day symposium highlighted key issues and challenges in addressing midwivery service availability, accessibility, acceptability and quality of care. Midwifery services need to be available to women and their families everywhere, including geographically isolated areas. Removing financial and social barriers is critical to making midwifery services accessible. Acceptable midwifery care is culturally sensitive to women and their families. The universal adoption of global standards, competencies and development tools will ensure quality of care. 

The global symposium brought together up to 230 prominent midwives from key priority countries engaged in the fields of midwifery education, regulation, and association development; health workers with midwifery skills, UN partners; donors and policy makers. Read the News article here.

Declaration of Committment

Global Partners signing declaration

The Symposium concluded with a Joint Declaration of Committment to further strenghten midwifery. 29 organizations declared their committment to champion the provision of widely available, accessible, acceptable and high quality midwifery services. With this declaration ICM together with the 28 other signatories call upon governments, public and private sector partners to invest, educate, deploy in the right places, be woman centered, regulate, support and improve evidence. To read the full declaration, click here

Panel on Acceptability

ICM facilitated a panel discussion with four speakers who explored the theme "Acceptability" of midwifery services. Acceptability is along with accessability critical to determine client satisfaction and engagement, which ultimately leads to improving health outcomes for mothers and babies. However, acceptability is often a neglected and poorly conceptualized dimension of access to health care. Critical components of acceptability are:

  • a culturally appropriate physical environment;
  • providers skilled in providing culturally competent care,
  • information made available to women and families regarding facilities and service

Four ICM panelists

The panel highlighted key issues and challenges emerging from the latest evidence available globally regarding acceptability of care with particular attention to culturally competent care. Particular attention was given to accepatability of services in geographically dispersed area. Four speakers constituted the panel. 

The first speaker was Peter Johnson, director of Global Learning, Jhpiego, Baltimore, United States of America. He gave a key note address and introduced the theme and concept.

The second speaker was Rafat Jan, Associate Professor, Director Midwifery Programme at the Aga Khan University, Pakistan. She discussed issues of consumer involvement, consultation, satisfaction and how delivery of health services can be made accountable to the needs and desires of those who receive the services. 

The third speaker was Sue Kildea, Australian Catholic University/Mater Mothers Hospital, Brisbane, Australia. She discussed culturally competent midwifery care examining how health workers and their governments can ensure midwifery care respects and upholds the beliefs and practices that make up consumers' value systems and how communication with women can be improved to enhance care provided. 

The fourth speaker was Betsy McCallon, Executive Director of White Ribbon Alliance, Washington DC, United States of America. She discussed the concept of Respectful Maternity Care, quality and dependability of services and consciousness of other psychological barriers. She shared in-country global experiences and initiatives that increase the health care provider’s social accountability.

The Panel Moderator: Frances Day-Stirk, President, International Confederation of Midwives 


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Declaration of Committment


ICM 31st Triennial Congress 2017 Toronto