Media Advisory

Launch of First Ever State of World's Midwifery Report

6 June 2011
Author: UNFPA

What: The first report to explore the state of midwifery practices across the globe, entitled the State of the World’s Midwifery 2011: Delivering Health, Saving Lives, is being launched on 20 June in Durban, South Africa. The report provides new information and data gathered from 58 countries across all regions and aims to help strengthen the practice of midwifery around the world.

When: Press conference in Durban, South Africa, on Monday, 20 June 2011 at 12 noon local time

Where: The report will be released at the Triennial Congress of the International Confederation of Midwives, International Convention Centre Durban (ICC), Nelson Mandela Suite


• Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund
• Bridget Lynch, President of the International Confederation of Midwives
• Lennie Kamwendo, Chairperson, Board of Trustees, White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood – Malawi

Why: The role of skilled birth attendants – especially midwives – is widely acknowledged as being critical to addressing maternal and newborn death and morbidity. However, recent analyses show that there are far too few midwives and that both midwifery personnel and services are unequally distributed among and within countries. Certain countries will have to double or triple their number of midwives if they hope to achieve 95 per cent coverage of births by a skilled birth attendant.

The groundbreaking report will reveal new data and country facts to support key findings about the reality of the critical shortage of midwives on the ground, the best analysis of the number of lives that could be saved if the gap were closed, why midwives’ skills and competencies are critical to achieving Millennium Development Goals 4, 5 and 6, what needs to happen next, and why you should care.

The global report takes stock of and documents the situation in countries with high maternal and newborn death and contributes to the implementation of the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health. It is aimed at policymakers, programme managers, development and funding partners and all midwifery service providers.

Support: B-roll is available in PAL and NTSC, as well as DVDs and high definition photos (available from Adebayo Fayoyin, ). More information is available on, where the full report will be posted as soon as the embargo is lifted at 12 noon Durban/Geneva time, 6 a.m. in New York and 11 a.m. in London.

UNFPA Media contacts:

Adebayo Fayoyin, +27 78 606 6715

Anne Wittenberg, +41 79 916 88 33 
Leyla Alyanak, +41 79 687 6056