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Professor Babatunde Osotimehin,UNFPA Executive Director

IDM: UNFPA Calls For Enabling Environment, Expansion Of Midwifery Programmes

5 May 2017 Health National News News


As the International Day of Midwife is been celebrated worldwide . the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA has stressed the need for countries to expand midwifery programmes, maintain the highest global standards, and promote an enabling environment for midwives to effectively serve the needs of women and their families.

In a statement made available to Kapital FM, theUNFPA Executive Director Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin   also urges all governments and development partners to join UNFPA in supporting midwives so more women survive and they, their families and communities thrive.

“UNFPA celebrates the heroic and life-saving work that midwives do every day, often in very trying circumstances. Thanks to midwives, millions of women each year are able to exercise their right to sexual and reproductive health services, including voluntary family planning.”

“These services help ensure wanted, healthy pregnancies and safe births.
Yet, far too many women lack access to these services.”

“As a result, each year more than 300,000 women die during pregnancy and childbirth, some 3 million babies do not survive the first month of life, and another two and a half million babies are stillborn.”he said.

According to Dr Osotimehin  most of them could have been saved by the care of well-trained midwives within the framework of strong health systems.

 International Day of the Midwife

International Day of the Midwife

“UNFPA strongly supports the training and work of midwives in more than 100 countries. Since 2009, UNFPA has worked with partners to support over 600 midwifery schools, educating more than 80,000 midwives.”

We have also strengthened national midwifery associations in 75 countries and helped enhance the regulatory framework for midwifery practice to ensure accountability.

He observed that this year’s theme of the International Day of the Midwife, “Midwives, Mothers and Families: Partners for Life!”, underscores the critical role midwives play. Midwives save lives, support and promote healthy families, and empower women and couples to choose whether, when and how often to have children.

They also help avert sexually transmitted infections and prevent disabilities like obstetric fistula, mother-to-child transmission of HIV and female genital mutilation.

“Preventing maternal and newborn deaths and disabilities and empowering women to make informed, healthy choices and exercise their rights is key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030,”he  added.

May 5 is the internationally recognised day for highlighting the work of midwives. International Confederation of Midwives  ICM established the idea of the ‘International Day of the Midwife’ following suggestions and discussion among Midwives Associations in the late 1980s, then launched the initiative formally in 1992.

Each year , ICM comes up with a campaign theme to provide motivating call to action for them to get involved and champion their work.

The International Day of the Midwife is an occasion for every individual midwife to think about the many others in the profession, to make new contacts within and outside midwifery, and to widen the knowledge of what midwives do for the world. In the years leading up to 2015.


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