PMNCH and partners release: State of the World’s Midwifery Report expected in June
Partners collaborate to release new publication
JANUARY | GENEVA-NEW YORK – Partners including PMNCH are collaborating to research and produce the first-ever report entitled: The State of the World’s Midwifery, expected to be released at the Triennial Congress of the International Confederation of Midwives on 20 June 2011 in Durban, South Africa. Ministers of Health gathered at the World Health Assembly in Geneva, May 2011 will be invited to attend a briefing prior to its publication and launch. The report is aimed at policy‐makers and programme managers (including ministers, advisers and local champions) development partners, aid organizations and all midwifery service providers.
The report will be the first of its kind and intends to facilitate midwifery strengthening worldwide. The report will include statistical tables and applicable global standards, collating relevant midwifery information into one reference document. It will provide new information and data gathered from 60 countries from all regions of the world in order to:
- examine the number and distribution of health professionals involved in the delivery of midwifery services;
- explore emerging issues related to education, regulation, professional associations, policies and external aid
- analyse global issues regarding health personnel with midwifery skills, most of whom are women, and the constraints and challenges that they face in their lives and work; and
- call for accelerating investments for scaling up midwifery services, as well as “skilling up” the respective providers.
Behind The State of the World’s Midwifery stand some of the key international partners involved in maternal and reproductive health, with a specific focus on midwifery, including: DfID, Dutch Ministry of Development Cooperation and Gender Equality, FIGO, Global Health Workforce Alliance , International Confederation of Midwives, Jhpiego, NORAD, Swedish International Development Cooperation, UNFPA, UNICEF, USAID, White Ribbon Alliance, the World Bank and the World Health Organization. This initiative builds on earlier collaboration and engagement including the ‘Global Call to Action’ issued at the Symposium on Strengthening Midwifery in Washington DC in June 2010.
The health of women and their newborns took centre stage in global development discussions in 2010, when the United Nations Secretary‐General launched the ‘Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health’. While millions of women, newborn and children still die needlessly and the closely linked Millennium Development Goal 5 (improve maternal health) and Millennium Development Goal 4 (reduce child mortality) remain the least advanced of the MDGs, progress is finally underway and the world has gathered to accelerate action and save lives.
The role of skilled birth attendants, in particular midwives and others with midwifery skills, is widely acknowledged as being crucial to addressing maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity, and to promoting women’s and children’s health. In addition to evidence accumulated over time from Sweden, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands and France, quality midwifery is a well-documented component of success in saving the lives of women and newborns, promoting their health and spurring development in countries like Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Tunisia and Thailand.
However, recent analyses show that both midwifery personnel and services are unequally distributed – between countries as well as within countries. Hence, it is time to take stock and document the situation in countries with high maternal and newborn mortality. This will be presented in a new publication entitled The State of the World’s Midwifery.