UN News Centre reported on 6 May that three million newborns and hundreds of thousands of women die each year because they lack access to maternity health services and skilled midwifery care, UNFPA said on the occasion of International Day of the Midwife. “No woman should die trying to give life. Increased investment is needed to provide midwifery skills and life saving services and to make midwives a priority within health programmes, policies and budgets,” said Thoraya Obaid, Executive Director of UNFPA, in a joint statement with Agneta Bridges, the head of the International Confederation of Midwives. Read: UN News Centre
Europa Press (Spain) reported on 7 May that three million newborn babies and hundreds of thousands of women die each year in the world, due in part to a lack access to medical services in obstetrics or a midwife, according to UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid's statement on International Day of the Midwife. Ms. Obaid called for increased investment in training and deployment of midwives around the world. Read in Spanish: Europa Press
BANGLADESH: The Daily Star reported on 6 May that the number of midwives should be increased in the country to reduce maternal and newborn mortality, speakers said at a seminar yesterday. The Bangladesh Nursing Council organised the seminar to mark International Day of the Midwife. It also held a rally on the Central Shaheed Minar premises. The theme of this year's Midwife Day is “The world needs midwives now more than ever.” Director General of Health Services Shah Monir Hossain, WHO Representative to Bangladesh Dr Duangvadee Sungkhobol and UNFPA Representative Arthur Erken also spoke at the seminar. Read: The Daily Star
GABON: Radio Africa No 1, Radio/TV Gabon 2 and Gabon Matin on 5-6 May reported on the joint Executive Director's and ICM Secretary General's message delivered by UNFPA Country Director on the occasion of International Midwives Day and on the situation of midwives in Gabon. According to the President of National Midwife Association, Ms. Yvonne-Lydia Mokossa, and in line with the message of the UNFPA Executive Director's message on World Midwifery Day, she stated that the number of midwives in Gabon is insufficient compared to the number of deliveries each year. She stressed that an increased number of midwives would definitely contribute to reducing the maternal mortality rate of 519 out of 100,000 live births in Gabon.
GUATEMALA: Cerigua reported on 5 May on the International Day of the Midwife. In Guatemala, the maternal mortality rate is 157 deaths per 100,000 live births - a figure that could be reduced with an increase in availability of skilled health personnel, according to a statement marking the day by UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid. In her statement, Ms. Obaid called on governments to urgently address the need to increase the number of midwives in the world - remedying a deficit of approximately 350,000 midwives. Read in Spanish: Cerigua
INDONESIA: Kedaultan Rakyat reported on 5 May that Indonesia does not have a sufficient number of midwives. According to UNFPA, not only are their number insufficient, they are mostly concentrated in health centres at the district level and hospitals in the cities. Midwives’ competency also varies, affecting their services. UNFPA calls on Indonesia and other countries to meet the needs for more quality midwives to help curb maternal mortality rate. Read in Bahasa Indonesia: Kedaultan Rakyat
IRAN: IRNA, ISNA and INN reported on 4 May the joint statement marking International Midwives Day by ICM and UNFPA.
LAO PDR: KPL reported on 5 May that a nursing and midwifery training centre was to be inaugurated in Vientiane, Lao PDR, on 7 May within the framework of the International Day of the Midwife (May 5th) and the International Day of Nursing (May 12th), according to a press release of the Vientiane-based UNFPA on 4 May. "Every birth should be a joyous event that the family can celebrate. No family in Laos should have to bear the pain and tragedy of losing a mother giving birth, or going through pregnancy and birth and not having a live healthy baby when such events can be prevented" said Mariolein Coren, Deputy Representative of the UNFPA-Lao PDR. "Healthy mothers make for healthy babies and healthy families. Healthy babies make healthy children and grow up to be healthy adults that can contribute to a healthy nation."
LIBERIA: The Daily Observer reported on 8 May Liberia Broadcasting System reported on 7 May that UNFPA Resident Representative Esperance Fundira announced on 5 May that her institution had approved a “special fund” for the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MoHSW). According to Ms. Fundira, the usage of the Maternal Health Thematic Trust Fund, which is intended to support the Ministry strengthen institutional and human resource capacity to deliver quality reproductive health services, including family planning, emergency obstetric and neonatal care, sexually transmitted infections, and HIV/AIDS prevention, has already begun by the Health Ministry. Delivering the keynote address at celebrations marking the observance of International Day of the Midwife, which was organized by the Liberian Midwifery Association (LMA) in collaboration with UNFPA, she underscored the need for the country to have more midwives now than ever. Read: Liberian Observer and Liberia Broadcasting System
MOZAMBIQUE: Domingo reported on 9 May and Independente, TV Miramar, and STV reported on 8 May that the national association of midwives (APARMO) is concerned with the shortage of midwifery professionals in the country. This concern was raised during a public lecture held in Maputo to celebrate the International Day of the Midwives. Ana Lurdes, APARMOs General Secretary, is quoted by STV saying that they are few midwives in Mozambique to meet the growing number of women seeking their humanized assistance in deliveries. Baisamo Juaia, UNFPA Assistant Representantive, told the press that the organization is supporting and will continue doing so in recognition of the midwives role in the reduction of maternal mortality.
PAKISTAN: Associated Press of Pakistan reported on 3 May that Sindh Health Minister, Dr. Saghir Ahmed said a shortage of nurses persists in the provincial government’s hospitals despite recent induction of 80 qualified nurses, through Sindh Public Service Commission. He told APP that the service structure for nurses has also been revised to attract more and more women towards the profession and that they are now being offered far better remuneration and status. Earlier, in his elaborate presentation at a seminar organized by Sindh chapter of National Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health Programme and UNFPA, to celebrate International Nurses and Midwives Day, he said government was committed to achieve MDGs four and five, related to quality lives of mothers and children, by the year 2015. “Factually under the NMNCH Programme we plan to train some 2000 community midwives till 2011 so as to help mothers and children at their door steps,” he said. Read: Associated Press of Pakistan
PARAGUAY: Viva Paraguay reported on 4 May on the commemoration of the International Day of the Midwife in Paraguay and around the world, quoting UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid's statement marking the day and noting that UNFPA supports midwives to take a larger part in the health system, Read in Spanish: Viva Paraguay
THE PHILIPPINES: Manila Bulletin reported on 7 May that a national group sought the strengthening of the midwifery profession in the country as UNFPA called on governments to address the shortage of 350,000 midwives worldwide. The Integrated Midwives Association of the Philippines (IMAP) Inc. called for government support for the training and education of additional midwives in the country. Read: Manila Bulletin
TANZANIA: The Citizen, The Guardian and the Daily News reported on 5 and 6 May on celebrations of International Day of the Midwife around the world and in Tanzania, where the government has been urged to strengthen health services so as to improve maternal health care as half of the deliveries in the country still take place in homes mostly with the help of a traditional birth attendants or relatives. The call was made by UNFPA Country Representative Julitta Onabanjo at the climax of the International Day of the Midwife in Dar es Salaam. Distances to health facilities particularly in rural areas remain a major challenge which contributes to Tanzania's high rates of maternal deaths and disabilities, said Dr. Onabanjo. "Compared to developed countries, far too many women in Tanzania are dying during pregnancy and childbirth. This is not acceptable," she added. Read: Daily News and The Guardian
TIMOR LESTE: Suara Timor-Lorosae reported on 5 May that UNFPA in Timor-Leste has called on the Government to increase the number of midwives in the country to help save mothers and their babies. UNFPA Executive Director, Thoraya Obaid, said that it was important to increase the capacity of midwives so that they could carry out their work more professionally. Obaid added that most deaths in childbirth take place because of a lack of human resources to support midwives to effectively carry out their work.
UZBEKISTAN: UzReport reported on 5 May that, on the International Day of the Midwife, the International Confederation of Midwives and UNFPA released a message stating, "On the International Day of the Midwife, the ICM and UNFPA confirm our commitment to work together to improve the education, regulation, status and working conditions of midwives in communities. We do so in celebration of quality midwifery worldwide and in recognition that the world needs midwives now more than ever to protect the lives of women and babies," the message said. Read: UzReport
VIET NAM: Communist Party of Vietnam Online Newspaper and Family and Society Newspaper reported on 5 May that on the occasion of the International Day of the Midwife, the International Confederation of Midwives and UNFPA called on the governments of the world to urgently address the shortage of midwives, put at 350,000 globally.“No woman should die trying to give life. Increased investment is needed to provide midwifery skills and life saving services, and to make midwives a priority within health programmes, policies and budgets,” UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Obaid said. “Skilled midwives are urgently needed in many communities that are hard-to-reach, have insufficient midwives or are affected by conflict,” said Secretary-General of the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) Agneta Bridges. The UNFPA and ICM pointed out that midwives can prevent up to 90 percent of maternal deaths where they are authorized to practice their competencies and play a full role during pregnancy, childbirth and post-natal care. Read in Vietnamese: CPV, Family & Society
ZIMBABWE: The Herald reported on 6 May that the government should come up with strategies to retain qualified midwives in all health institutions for universal access to quality reproductive health by 2015, health stakeholders have said. In a message to mark International Day of Midwives, celebrated on May 5 every year, the United Nations Population Fund said 78 percent of midwives posts in Zimbabwe were vacant. Read: The Herald