Valerie Gommon Midwife’s Blog

Archive for the ‘International Week of the Midwife’ Category

ICM Statement International Day of the Midwife 2010

The World Needs Midwives Now More Than Ever!

www.internationalmidwives.org

Many midwives around the world celebrate the ‘International Day of the Midwife’ o­n May 5th each year. The International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) established the idea of the ‘International Day of the Midwife’ following suggestions and discussion among member associations in the late 1980s, then launched the initiative formally in 1992. The aim of the day is to celebrate midwifery and to bring awareness of the importance of midwives’ work to as many people as possible. This is done in many different ways according to what works best in each country.

The International Day of the Midwife is an occasion for every individual midwife to think about the many others in the profession, to make new contacts within and outside midwifery, and to widen the knowledge of what midwives do for the world. In the years leading up to 2015, ICM will use the overarching theme “The World Needs Midwives Today More Than Ever” as part of an ongoing campaign to highlight the need for midwives. This reflects the World Health Organisation (WHO) call for midwives and the need to accelerate progress towards Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5.

Midwife numbers must be expanded to achieve Millennium Development Goals 4, 5 and 6 by 2015 350,000 more midwives are needed!1

The UN Millennium Development Goals Report 2008 states: The high risk of dying in pregnancy or childbirth continues unabated in sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia … little progress has been made in saving mothers’ lives. Over 60% of women in these areas of the world still do not have skilled care during childbirth.
This report notes better progress for all of the MDG goals, apart from MDG5!2 Yet all the goals are linked: until poverty and hunger are reduced, until diseases such as HIV and malaria are controlled, until there is more equality between men and women, until every child completes primary education, until all women have access to reproductive healthcare – then mothers and babies will continue to die.

Midwives are key healthcare providers in achieving MDG 5: Improving Maternal Health3
That is the clear message coming from the WHO, UNFPA, UNICEF and the World Bank: the four UN agencies that have recently united to pledge increased support to countries with the highest maternal mortality rates.
They identified mortality in pregnancy and childbirth as the “highest health inequity in the world with over 99% of deaths occurring in the developing world”. They committed to work with governments and civil society organizations to address the “urgent need for skilled health workers, particularly midwives”.4

Midwives provide skilled newborn care to achieve MDG 4: Reduce Child Mortality5
Every year in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia more than 1 million infants die within their first 24 hours of life due to lack of adequate health services, including midwifery care. The midwives of the world understand that every childbearing woman deserves to give birth within a safe and supported environment for herself and her baby. Skilled midwifery care includes emergency care for both mothers and their newborns.

Midwives are essential to achieve MDG 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Other Diseases
Thousands of pregnant women and hundreds of thousands of newborns die each year due to preventable disease. Throughout sub-Saharan Africa governments have recognized the primary role of midwives in reducing these devastating deaths. As essential frontline workers, midwives provide vaccines to newborns and children; they identify, counsel and treat pregnant women with HIV and AIDS, thus preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV; they also provide anti-malarial drugs and bed nets to vulnerable pregnant women and their children, saving lives and promoting health.

The achievement of MDGs 4, 5 and 6 requires a global commitment to grow a strong, well educated midwifery workforce within functioning health service delivery systems.

The sense of urgency to achieve MDGs 4, 5 and 6 in the next six years is increasing daily. The ICM and the midwives of the world are committed to working with global partners to achieve these goals. The Confederation has grown to 91 member associations with 250,000 midwives in over 80 countries and has recently partnered with the UNFPA to strengthen midwifery education, regulation and associations in 40 low income countries. The ICM has also joined the White Ribbon Alliance (WRA) and Sarah Brown’s Maternal Mortality Campaign to increase public awareness and apply political pressure on the G8 and G20 to make maternal and newborn health a global priority. The ICM recognizes that health delivery systems must be strengthened and the midwifery workforce must be increased to stop the needless deaths of millions of women and their newborns who will die in the next six years if immediate action is not taken now.

The world needs midwives now more than ever!

For more information contact ICM President Bridget Lynch or ICM Secretary General Agneta Bridges at +31 70 3060520 or e-mail a.bridges@internationalmidwives.org.
1. The World Health Report: Make every mother and child count. World Health Organization, 2005.
2. The Millennium Development Goals Report 2008. New York, USA: UN, 2008
3. MDG 5 Target: Reduce by three quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality ratio. UN, 2000.
4. Accelerating efforts to save the lives of women and newborns. WHO/UNFPA/UNICEF/World Bank. Joint statement: Sept. 2008.
5. MDG 4 Target: Reduce by two thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the under-five mortality rate. UN.

The International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) is responsible for the organisation of the International Day of the Midwife, which is held annually on 5 May.  Each year has a different theme, decided in advance by the ICM Triennial Congress.  Midwives from all the organisations affiliated to the ICM express worldwide solidarity and take action to highlight the knowledge and skills of midwives, and the contribution midwives make to the health of their nations. In the UK the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) organises events both to support Safe Motherhood and to promote the midwifery profession both in the UK and worldwide.

The first international day of the midwife was launched in May 1991 with the theme “Towards safe birth for all by the year 2000”, this year’s theme is “The world needs midwives now more than ever” – see previous posting https://midwifevalerie.wordpress.com/2009/05/01/international-day-of-the-midwife-5th-may-2009/

A reminder that local Independent Midwives will be in-store at the Nursery Department, John Lewis plc, Central Milton Keynes on Saturday 9th May between 10am and 4 pm to celebrate International Week of the Midwife. They will be available to answer any questions on pregnancy, birth and early parenting including breastfeeding.  More details can be found at www.3shiresmidwife.co.uk

Independent Midwives from Milton Keynes will be in-store at the Nursery Department, John Lewis, Central Milton Keynes on Saturday 9th May to talk about any aspect of pregnancy, birth and early parenting.  They are aiming to raise awareness of the fact that every minute somewhere in the world a woman dies because of complications in pregnancy and childbirth.  Many of these deaths happen simply because women in many countries lack access to skilled birth attendants such as midwives, or basic medical care.

The event marks the International Day of the Midwife (IDM) on 5th May 2009, when midwives around the world will take action to highlight the knowledge and skills of midwives, and the contribution they make to the health of their nations.  The Royal College of Midwives will be highlighting the United Nations Millennium Development Goal 5 (MDG5), which aims to improve maternal health.

The goal, supported by the UK Government, is to reduce by 75% the number of women who die during pregnancy or childbirth, by 2015.  There are two targets within MDG5; one to reduce maternal deaths and the other to provide universal access to reproductive health.

MDG5 has made the least progress of all the goals since its inception in 2000, but the global voice calling for change is getting stronger.  Maternal Health was on the G8 agenda for the first time ever in 2008 with many governments pledging funding for this issue.  The challenge now is to make sure these pledges are fulfilled.  International Day of the Midwife actions will highlight the need for midwives and celebrate their important role in improving maternal health.

The midwives will also be aiming to raise funds to help mothers and newborns in developing counties, and to help provide skilled midwifery care to women.  IDM is organised by the International Confederation of midwives (ICM), and is supported in the UK by the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) and the White Ribbon Alliance (WRA).

Valerie Gommon from the local branch of the Royal College of Midwives said “Because we have such relatively high quality maternity care in the UK, it is easy to forget the terrible conditions in which hundreds of millions of women have to go through pregnancy and give birth.  We can all do our bit to change this and try to make the horrifying numbers of deaths in pregnancy and childbirth across the world a thing of the past.”

As part of International Week of the Midwife, local Independent Midwives will be in-store at the Nursery Department, John Lewis plc, Central Milton Keynes on Saturday 9th May between 10am and 4 pm.  They will be available to answer any questions on pregnancy, birth and early parenting including breastfeeding.  More details can be found at www.3shiresmidwife.co.uk

A listing of events that I am hosting or involved with over the next few months, please feel free to pass on these details to anyone appropriate.

I can be contacted on 01908 511247 if you need any further information.

Antenatal Exhibition – FREE entry
Sunday 8th March 2009
2pm – 4.30pm
The Guildhall, Church of Christ the Cornerstone,
300 Saxon Gate West,
Central Milton Keynes, MK9 2ES
info@3shiresmidwife.co.uk

Love Your Body Exhibition – FREE entry
Saturday 21st March 2009
10 am – 4 pm
Midsummer Place,
Central Milton Keynes
www.loveyourbody.me

Milton Keynes Real Nappy Show – FREE entry
Thursday 2nd April 2009
11am onwards
Chrysalis Theatre, Camphill Community,
Japonica Lane, Willen Park South,
Milton Keynes, MK15 9JY
info@3shiresmidwife.co.uk

Wedding Fair – FREE entry
Sunday 5th April 2009
11am – 4 pm
Holiday Inn, London Road,
Newport Pagnell MK16 0JA
info@3shiresmidwife.co.uk

International Week of Midwife – FREE entry
Part of John Lewis Nursery Event
Saturday 9th May 2009
10 am – 4 pm
Nursery Department
John Lewis, Central Milton Keynes
info@3shiresmidwife.co.uk

National Breastfeeding Week – FREE entry
Saturday 16th May 2009
10 am – 4 pm
In store at Boots Baby Department,
Central Milton Keynes
info@3shiresmidwife.co.uk

Love Your Body Exhibition – FREE entry
Saturday 13th June 2009
10 am – 4 pm
Excape, Central Milton Keynes
www.loveyourbody.me

Antenatal Exhibition – FREE entry
Sunday 28th June 2009
2pm – 4.30pm
The Guildhall, Church of Christ the Cornerstone,
300 Saxon Gate West,
Central Milton Keynes, MK9 2ES
info@3shiresmidwife.co.uk

MK Baby and Toddler Show
Sunday 6th September 2009
The Stadium, Denbigh,
Milton Keynes
info@3shiresmidwife.co.uk

Antenatal Exhibition – FREE entry
Sunday 4th October 2009
2pm – 4.30pm
The Guildhall, Church of Christ the Cornerstone,
300 Saxon Gate West,
Central Milton Keynes, MK9 2ES
info@3shiresmidwife.co.uk


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