Second Global Midwifery Symposium


The Second Global Midwifery Symposium brought together nearly 250 midwives, policy makers, programme managers and senior representatives from UN agencies, major international non-governmental organizations, and donors to focus on strengthening quality, life-saving midwifery care. The two-day symposium highlighted the key issues and challenges in addressing midwifery service availability, accessibility, acceptability and quality of care.

Dr Laura Laski, Chief Sexual and Reproductive Health Branch, United Nations Population Fund, opened the event by applauding partners on their progress made since the first Global Midwifery Symposium in 2010—for instance, producing the first-ever State of the World’s Midwifery Report within a year. She stressed, however, that much work still remains to be done in the last 900 days until the deadline for the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.

A joint declaration of commitment was launched on the second day of the event to strengthen midwifery services and address challenges to enhance progress towards MDGs 4 and 5, to reduce child mortality and improve maternal health. More than 25 partners pledged their support towards improving access and availability of midwifery services while ensuring that services are culturally acceptable and of the highest quality.

In addition, an interactive e-learning program for midwives was announced on the same day. The multimedia training modules are user-friendly and allow workers to do training offline, even where there is no internet. This innovative partnership will help expand frontline health workers’ access to essential life-saving skills and improve the quality of the care they provide.

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