Empowering and investing in midwives could save millions of lives each year
- 04 May 2022
UNITED NATIONS, New York – “My great-grandmother was a midwife,” said Erika Martinez, 23. “She was one of my biggest inspirations.”
Ms. Martinez is a midwifery student in Tulancingo, Mexico, working in an underserved community. “There is a health care house, but there are no permanent staff,” she explained. “In my community there are many youth pregnancies, and there are no dedicated health staff who could care for women or take care of teenagers.”
05 May 2022
Statement by UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem on the International Day of the Midwife
Shakila Parvin has been a UNFPA-trained midwife in the refugee camps of Cox’s Bazar since 2019.
ZAATARI CAMP, Jordan – "On my first day at work in the camp, I cried a lot. At that time, I had not worked with refugees before, and I had no idea about their conditions," Ammoun Kitabi, a 58-year-old midwife, told UNFPA, at the reproductive health clinic in Zaatari camp where she tends to Syrian refugees. "The reason I cried was because I knew that most of them had everything they needed in their country.”
Ms. Kitabi knows better than most.
LUAMBO, Democratic Republic of the Congo – At only 35, Nsenga Malu has lived many lives. In one, she was a girl growing up in the city of Luambo, in her home country of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Then, her childhood halted abruptly when she married at the age of 15 and immediately began childbearing. Within 13 years, she’d had eight children, with an average of 11 months between pregnancies.
Antananarivo/Madagascar – “It wasn’t until I stood alongside my classmates in the delivery room, encouraging an anxious mother-to-be as she gave birth to a little baby boy, that I realised just how valuable this work can be.”
For Tahiana Rakotovao, 24, a lifelong dream of becoming a midwife came a step closer to reality during her studies at Madagascar’s Interregional Training Institute for Paramedics (IFIRP), in the capital city of Antananarivo.
Number of pages: 56
Publication date: 01 Sep 2021
The 2020 annual report of the Maternal and Newborn Health Thematic Fund (MHTF) highlights UNFPA's key strategies and achievements within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic – a global crisis that has overwhelmed health systems across the globe and severely impacted the global health workforce. Within this challenging environment, the MHTF continued to rise to the challenge, with a strong focus on promoting equity in access, universal health coverage, and improving accountability and quality of care.
NEW YORK, United Nations/Afghanistan – Even before the current humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, the situation for pregnant women was dire – the country had one of the highest maternal death rates in the world.