Back 17 November 2015

New UNFPA Report on Midwifery Workforce in the Arab Region

A report released on 11 November by UNFPA (Arab States Regional Office) analyses the situation of the midwifery workforce in selected Arab countries, adopting the same methodology as, and building on the analysis provided in, the State of the World’s Midwifery 2014: A Universal Pathway – A Woman’s Right to Health, which was developed in cooperation with the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) and the World Health Organization (WHO) and other partners, with technical input by ICS Integrare.

At a time where Arab States have endorsed the Sustainable Development Goals aiming to drive international development efforts during the coming 15 years, it is important to see how the goal number 3 related to health is central to the socio-economic development. Ending the preventable maternal and neonatal mortalities is still a priority for the world. Without the correct human resources in place, particularly midwives, this goal will be hard to achieve.

“Midwives play a crucial role in reducing maternal and newborn mortality and morbidities” said Mohamed Abdel-Ahad, Regional Director for UNFPA based in Cairo. “This report paints a comprehensive picture of the current state of the region’s midwifery workforce and provides clear pointers for its future development in the framework of sound SRMNH policies”, he added.

When educated and regulated to international standards, midwives have the competencies to meet 95% of the need for Sexual, Reproductive, Maternal and Neonatal Health (SRMNH) services in the 13 countries featured in this report. The report seeks to determine whether the midwifery workforce in each country has the capacity to meet their need for SRMNH services, by considering the four key areas of availability, accessibility, acceptability and quality of SRMNH services.

Findings vary per country, but the report calls on governments to invest in midwifery education, training and regulation with practical recommendations and proposed scenarios to prompt and inform policy discussions on how the composition, skill-mix, deployment and enabling environment of the midwifery workforce can influence the delivery of critical SRMNH services.

“The State of the World’s Midwifery Report 2014 provides much evidence and key messages for the countries profiled which are universally applicable, ICM welcomes this initiative by the UNFPA Arab States Regional Office which signals its intent to improve midwifery education and regulation in the region to the benefit of women, newborn, child and adolescent health”, said Frances Day-Stirk, ICM President.

Read the new report now.

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