For more than 15 years, 5th May is dedicated to one of the world greatest jobs: the International Day of the midwife. An opportunity to discover this job by “giver of life“, pay tribute to women who exercise it and show their importance within the society.
On this occasion, the Executive director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Babatunde Osotimehin, called on Tuesday the international community to increase the number of the midwives and the quality of their services to save more lives.
In a declaration, Mr. Osotimehin congratulated himself on the progress realized regarding maternal health these recent years.
“Maternal mortality decreased of about 50 %, moving from 523.000 deaths in 1990 to 289.000 today, according to the last count“, he underlined in a declaration on the occasion of the event.
He however considered that this progress was not enough while about 800 women continue to die every day from complications related to pregnancy or childbirth.
“We must do more and start training and increasing the number of midwives“, he said, reminding that midwives educated and trained in the international standards, can provide 87 % of the essential care needed by women and their new born children.
“Today, we call up for more investments to increase the number of midwives and improve the quality and the area of their services. A strong political commitment and a strong investment in the midwives are necessary to save millions of lives every year“, added Mr. Osotimehin.
According to him, the need for solid sanitary systems was confirmed by the Ebola epidemic in West Africa where pregnant women had difficulty in finding available health services that can help them giving birth in safety.
At present, the UNFPA offers books, training equipment and teachers to more than 250 midwives’ schools and helped training more than 15.000 midwives worldwide.
Mr. Osotimehin called reminded that during the last four years, more than 35 countries promised to improve midwives’ services.
Ethiopia thus promised to quadruple the number of midwives and Bangladesh declared that it would train 3.000 additional midwives.
Original text by:Blaise AKAME