Accelerating effective coverage of midwifery services in low- and middle-income countries

Integrare November 2013-August 2014

ICM is part of the initiative to accelerate the effective coverage of midwifery services in low- and middle-income countries, and inform the post-2015 development agenda for health. ICM is collaborating with ICS Integrare to develop tools to accelerate the effective coverage (the availability, accessibility, acceptability, and quality) of reproductive, maternal and newborn health services in resource-poor settings. This initiative will support the collection, collation and improvement of data and evidence on midwifery care to inform policy change, and also to develop effective global partnerships between governments, UN agencies, healthcare professional associations, academia, and civil society. Increasing evidence is available and an opportunity exists to consolidate all available midwifery evidence and embed key actions within the post-2015 development agenda for health. The achievement of this goal would influence the next 15 years of development activities on maternal, neonatal and child health. Read the press release here.

New evidence and tools will be available in 2014, including the Lancet Series on Midwifery (Spring 2014), The State of the World’s Midwifery (June 2014), and a Midwifery Services Framework to help guide countries on policy-making based on evidence, and provide governments will tools to improve midwifery services. It will provide a concrete product for the ICM and its member associations to implement their niche policy and advocacy role at global- and national-levels.

Together with UNFPA and WHO, H4+, ICM is working on the The State of the World’s Midwifery report (SoWMy), which will be launched at the ICM’s 30th Triennial Congress in Prague, Czech Republic. SoWMy will provide an analysis of the present progress and future challenges to deliver effective coverage and quality of midwifery services in the 75 countries that collectively represent more than 95% of the global burden of maternal, neonatal and child deaths. A core focus will be on addressing the current inequities in access to midwifery services and the adverse pregnancy and newborn related outcomes.
Together these publications will ensure that there is a robust, contemporary set of data on midwifery services, as well guidance on how to adapt this evidence for use in strengthening policy and programming environments.

Accelerating effective coverage of quality midwifery services will remain a challenge beyond 2015, but enabling stakeholders to develop evidence-based, integrated services that meet the needs of women and families, is a step towards this.

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