The Second Global Midwifery Symposium on “Strengthening Quality Midwifery Care: Making Strides, Addressing Challenges”

26 May 2013

Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Conference Hall 3, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Organized by UNFPA, International Confederation of Midwives, Jhpiego, and WHO in collaboration with the H4 , civil society and private sector partners.

The Second Global Midwifery Symposium brought together some 250 midwives, policy makers, programme managers and senior representatives from UN agencies, major international NGOs, and donors. The discussions focused on demonstrating major strides made towards strengthening midwifery in recent years at national and global levels and addressing ongoing challenges in improving access, availability, accessibility and quality of services emerging from the latest evidence base using partnerships and innovative technologies as key strategies.

UNFPA/Jhpiego/WHO/Intel Partnership and Launch of E-learning Modules

The second day of the Symposium included the official launch of e-learning modules that have been developed in a partnership of UNFPA, Jhpiego, WHO and Intel.

Use of these modules will improve the quality of service delivery, expand coverage and access of services, make possible remote training assessments and relicensing of health workers as well as remote supervision and monitoring, and improve the decision making and performance of health workers. Modules on pre-eclampsia/eclampsia, post-partum haemorrhage and prolonged obstructed labor – issues that contribute to approximately 50% of maternal deaths in countries with high maternal mortality ratios – are ready for pilot testing. Additional modules on family planning, essential newborn care, sepsis and post-abortion care are in the making.

Joint Declaration Launch

The Symposium concluded with 29 UN agencies, international NGOs, private partners, national governments and donor agencies pledging their commitment to “champion the provision of widely available, accessible, acceptable and high quality midwifery services” by supporting the education and empowerment of midwives. This represented a signifcant increase in partners pledging their commitment to midwifery, up from eight organizations that signed the Joint Global Call to Action at the First Global Midwifery Symposium in 2010. The Joint Declaration calls upon

governments and public and private sector partners to focus on seven key areas: investment in midwives and midwifery services; education to ensure competent midwives; effective recruitment and deployment of midwives; promotion of woman-centered care; regulation of midwifery services; support for midwifery associations; and enhancement of data collection on midwifery

Joint Declaration

Symposium Materials

Concept Note


List of Participants

Media Advisory

Photos and Video of Symposium

Symposium Presentations


Welcome Remarks (Dr. Laura Laski, Chief, Sexual and Reproductive Health Branch, UNFPA )

Welcome by ICM and Objectives of the Symposium (Frances Day-Stirk, President, ICM)

Opening Address by UNFPA (Kate Gilmore, Deputy Executive Director, UNFPA)

Keynote Address (Hon. Dr. Yatta Lugor, Deputy Minister of Health, Republic of South Sudan)


Enhancing Availability of Midwifery Services (Overall presentation by Deborah Armbruster, Senior Maternal Health Advisor, USAID)

Accessibility of Midwifery Services (Overall presentation by Luc de Bernis, Senior Maternal Health Adviser, UNFPA)

Acceptability of Midwifery Services (Overall presentation by Peter Johnson, Director, Global Learning, Jhpiego)

Quality of Midwifery Care (Overall presentation by Edna Adan Ismail, Director and Founder, Edna Adan Maternity Hospital, Somalia)

Innovations as Strategies for Strengthening Quality Midwifery Care, Access and Availability (Overall presentation by Narayan Sundararajan, Global Healthcare Program Manager, Intel)


Unleashing Power of Technology to Train Next Generation of Health Workers and Midwives (Geeta Lal, Midwifery Programme Coordinator, UNFPA)

Launch of Helping Mothers Survive - Bleeding after Birth (Tore Laerdal, CEO, Laerdal Global Health)

Statement of Commitment from Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) (Ylva Sörman Nath, Counselor, Embassy of Sweden in Bangladesh)

Symposium Posters

Poster 1 - Afghanistan Poster 4 - Tajikistan Poster 6 - Swaziland
Poster 2 - Viet Nam Poster 5 - Yemen Poster 7 - Viet Nam
Poster 3 - Uganda    


Midwifery Publications

The State of the World's Midwifery 2011: Delivering Health, Saving Lives (UNFPA)

Stories on Midwifery

Midwives Deliver for the Women of the World (UNFPA, 2 May 2013)

Stories of Midwives: Voices from the Field (UNFPA, 20 June 2011)

Recruiting Ethnic Minority Midwives to Meet Mothers' Needs in Remote Areas of Viet Nam (UNFPA, 28 February 2010)

Addressing Maternal Health in H'Mong Communities in Viet Nam (UNFPA, 18 August 2009)

Jhpiego Honors Midwives and the Lives They Save (Jhpiego)

Partner Agency Videos on Midwifery

Training Midwives to Save Lives (AMREF)

AMREF midwife to be nominated for Nobel Peace Prize in 2015 (AMREF)

2013 International Day of the Midwife

Statement for the International Day of the Midwife 2013 (UNFPA)

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