International Day of the Midwife
5 MAY 2013 | WORLDWIDE
Theme: The world needs midwives now more than ever! / Midwives Save Lives
Hosting organization: The International Confederation of Midwives
7 MAY 2013 — Partners around the world joined PMNCH board member the International Confederation of Midwives in marking the International Day of the Midwife on 5 May, with celebrations continuing throughout the week. Under the overarching theme "The world needs midwives now more than ever!" and the subtheme “Midwives save lives” partners highlighted the important role of midwives in achieving the Millennium Development Goals in the last 1000 days to the 2015 deadline and beyond.
Every year approximately 350 000 women die while pregnant or giving birth, up to 2 million newborns die within the first 24 hours of life and there are 2.6 million stillbirths. The majority of these deaths could be prevented. Universal access to a well-educated, regulated midwifery workforce in a functioning health system with adequate equipment and supplies and effective referral systems could prevent up to 60% of maternal deaths.
Globally there is critical shortage of skilled midwives. This is due to many reasons including ineffective workforce planning and management, insufficient numbers of midwives being trained, poor quality of education and training, high turnover rate and loss of lives of midwives from HIV/AIDS. To ensure universal coverage for maternity care an estimated 350 000 extra midwives are needed globally.