Swedish midwives advocate for improved maternal and newborn health globally

6 September 2019
On the 6th September, the President of the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), Franka Cadée participates in a Round Table meeting at the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs organized by The Swedish Association of Midwives.

The Swedish government supports Swedish midwives to play a significant role in international midwifery which leads to better outcomes for women and new-borns globally.

According to WHO the world needs 18 million more healthcare providers to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 half of these healthcare workers will need to be midwives or nurses.

The United National Population Fund, UNFPA will launch a new global midwifery strategy at the ICM Regional Conference in Namibia, which aims to meet the need of midwives globally. Sweden’s support, channelled through Sweden’s International Development Cooperation Agency, Sida, has been pivotal to this.

The Swedish model with registered midwives who work autonomously within the area of reproductive, perinatal and sexual health building on a unique 300-years midwifery history.

Due to the investment in a competency-based midwifery education at a higher academic level, the code of ethics, a strong midwifery association and academic midwifery research, Swedish midwives today stands as a role model for the profession globally.

The longstanding contribution by the government of Sweden has resulted in Swedish midwives posted at mid- and high-level positions within UN organizations and civil society. This has contributed to the implementation of the Swedish midwifery model in countries where the midwifery profession did not exist and so contributed to improved sexual and reproductive health globally.

Five Swedish academic institutions are currently involved in international education and research projects in Africa and Asia, which support provision of high-quality care around childbirth, Unplanned pregnancies and contraceptive counselling and care. Swedish midwifery education and research is critical to ensure future midwives applying evidence-based care which is a prerequisite for sustainable development of Agenda 2030.

Under the leadership of The Swedish Association of Midwives, various Swedish stakeholders within the field of Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights, SRHR (academia, civil society and the government) will discuss how Sweden can broaden its scope of support. This is a crucial subject for discussions about the role and competencies of midwives within the field of SRHR.

ICM represents more than 1 million midwives and sets the global standards and guidelines for the midwifery profession. The visit by the President of the ICM is an opportunity to explore how Sweden could become an even more impactful actor in the global movement of midwifery. In addition, it reaffirms that The Swedish Association of Midwives and other Swedish stakeholders have an important role to play in strengthening midwifery profession globally.

For more information, please contact:

Mia Ahlberg
President, The Swedish Association of Midwives
Mobile: +46 709 396 389

Anders Nordström
Ambassador for Global Health,
UN Policy Department
Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Sweden
Mobile: +46 76 209 72 36