Back 3 June 2014

State of the World’s Midwifery 2014

The biggest highlight of the day was the long-awaited launch of the second State of the World’s Midwifery Report (SoWMY). SoWMy 2014 provides an updated evidence base and detailed analysis of the present progress and future challenges to deliver effective coverage and quality of midwifery services in the 73 countries that collectively represent more than 95% of the global burden of maternal, neonatal and child deaths. Dr. Laura Laski (Chief of the Sexual and Reproductive Health Branch, UNFPA) delivered the opening address at the launch and addressed the midwives by saying 'you are at the forefront of women's health rights'. Dr Laski mentioned the importance of midwives in sexual health, early marriage, violence and contraception. 'Let's make sure we have a robust movement to make women and children the centre of the post 2015 agenda'. In his virtual address, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin (Executive Director, UNFPA) said that 'midwives are making a difference to life and death for women throughout the world’. ICM President, Frances Day-Stirk, provided the audience with the key findings of the SoWMy report. Educating midwives and making their services available to women has a significant economic impact. In a recent study in Bangladesh, the savings linked to avoidable Caesarian sections have shown to be over 16 times greater than the cost of educating midwives. This is just one way to measure the cost-effectiveness of midwifery. Rafat Jan, from Aga Khan University in Pakistan, is planning to translate key messages to share with the midwives working at grassroots. She added ‘It’s time now. We know what needs to be done. The report is here, so let’s go for action’. Hanane Masba, midwife from Morocco, shared her experience and stressed the importance of keeping women at the centre of maternal health policy. Hanane called for action and interprofessional collaboration, as midwives can only drive change together! Professor Arul, President of FIGO, said that their organization will disseminate the report and key messages widely. Moreover, a representative of the Swedish government presented their main priorities for development, which are MDGs 4 & 5 including SRHR. To sum up the session, Dr Flavia Bustreo from WHO said that 'by working together we can spark needed action for women and children around the world'. Read the full update here

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