Second Global Midwifery Symposium concludes with a commitment to champion midwifery
Two thirds of maternal and newborn deaths – 3.6 million between now and 2015 – could be averted if enough skilled midwives were providing care during childbirth.
Making high-quality midwifery more available, accessible, socially and culturally acceptable was the focus of discussion at the Second Global Midwifery Symposium which took place on 26 and 27 May in advance of the Women Deliver Conference. Participants at the Symposium including representatives of 29 organizations issued a statement pledging their commitment to champion midwifery. Many countries have stepped up training and deployment of midwives, but as delegates heard from speakers, there are still major challenges to make services available, especially in poor rural communities. Regulatory barriers and inadequate financing are among the persistent challenges.
The statement calls on governments and partners to increase investments in the midwifery workforce and education to accelerate progress towards MDG5, deploy midwives where they are needed most, promote care that is woman centred and respectful, reform regulations and licensing, support professionals associations advocating for midwifery, and collect evidence to address the challenges.
The Global Health Workforce Alliance worked closely with UNFPA and other partners in preparing for the Statement.