Feature Story

25 May 2013

Voices of Midwives

Participants at the Midwifery Symposium share their stories

Midwives from around the world came to Kuala Lumpur in May 2013 for the Second Global Midwifery Symposium. No one knows more about the challenge, and joys, of saving mothers’ lives than these healthcare workers on the front lines of the maternal health challenge.

Five--from Malawi, Nepal, Pakistan, Somalia and Sudan--shared their reasons for becoming midwives, their most memorable delivery experiences, and the key challenges facing expectant mothers in their countries. Watch their interviews below and hear them talk about heeding the call to help mothers and newborns through the birthing process.


Khadra Ali Egal, a British national working in Somalia, decided to become a midwife when she saw the exceptional care provided by a midwife who saved her own baby and who appreciates the very personal relationships tthat midwives establish with mothers.



As a young girl, Farida Shah , from a remote area of Pakistan, witnessed mothers and babies dying for lack of care. “I have to do something to save these lives,” she vowed, and overcame many obstacles to fulfill that commitment.


Kiaran Bajracharya of Nepal is both a nurse and a midwife. She enrolled in graduate midwifery training, “because I was so impressed that midwives have an independent role in saving mothers and babies, and we must be prepared.”


“I became a midwife because I really admired my sister, who is also a midwife. The way she carried out her duties inspired me,” says Eness Banda of Malawi. “I became a midwife because I see life as precious,” she added.


Even as a young nurse, Siama Lako of Sudan found herself interested in obstetrics and gynaecology. And after 20 years as a nurse, she decided to further her training and become a midwife. The situation is challenging because of a lack of supplies and standards combined with insufficient pay for midwives in rural areas of her post-conflict country.



And from the Za'atri Camp in Jordan, where she is working as a midwife,

Ghadeer Taher Horani

chimed in on the joys of being a midwife, even in the midst of chaos and turmoil.

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