News

Empowering and investing in midwives could save millions of lives each year

Empowering and investing in midwives could save millions of lives each year
Midwives in Morocco, like Amina Al Ammari, played a critical role in responding to the pandemic while also tending to pregnant women, new mothers and newborns. © UNFPA Morocco
  • 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.”

Statement

Global health systems must invest in midwives

05 May 2022

Statement by UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem on the International Day of the Midwife

News

In her words: A heavy monsoon, a flooded hospital and twins on the way. A midwife’s story in Bangladesh

In her words: A heavy monsoon, a flooded hospital and twins on the way. A midwife’s story in Bangladesh
Shakila Parvin, a midwife in the refugee camps of Cox's Bazar, helped a woman pregnant with twins deliver during heavy flooding that submerged the health facility's maternity ward, knocked out power and destroyed or damaged equipment and supplies. © UNFPA Bangladesh
  • 07 April 2022

Shakila Parvin has been a UNFPA-trained midwife in the refugee camps of Cox’s Bazar since 2019.

News

In this refugee camp, midwives have delivered over 14,000 babies with zero maternal deaths

In this refugee camp, midwives have delivered over 14,000 babies with zero maternal deaths
Ammoun Kitabi cradles a newborn in Zaatari camp. As a Jordanian midwife trained in Syria, she feels a deep connection to the Syrian refugees under her care. © UNFPA Jordan
  • 10 January 2022

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.

News

Diamonds are scarce – sexual and reproductive health information shouldn’t be

Diamonds are scarce – sexual and reproductive health information shouldn’t be
Nsenga Malu has had nine children since her marriage at age 15. She was not given any information about family planning until her most recent child was born. © UNFPA DRC
  • 14 December 2021

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.

News

$835 million needed to provide urgent sexual and reproductive health care, supplies in crisis settings

$835 million needed to provide urgent sexual and reproductive health care, supplies in crisis settings
A midwife in Afghanistan provides maternal health services. © UNFPA Afghanistan
  • 13 December 2021

UNITED NATIONS, New York – UNFPA launched its annual humanitarian report today, revealing a critical need to scale up assistance for crisis-affected populations.

News

Training midwives in Madagascar to bridge a dangerous gap in maternal health care

Training midwives in Madagascar to bridge a dangerous gap in maternal health care
Midwifery students at Madagascar's Interregional Training Institute for Paramedics. ©UNFPA Madagascar
  • 06 December 2021

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.

Maternal and Newborn Health Thematic Fund Annual Report 2020

Annual Report

Maternal and Newborn Health Thematic Fund Annual Report 2020

Saving lives and mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on mothers and newborns

Number of pages: 56

Publication date: 01 Sep 2021

Author: UNFPA

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.

News

Midwives continue to deliver amid uncertainty in Afghanistan

Midwives continue to deliver amid uncertainty in Afghanistan
UNFPA’s midwifery helpline continues to operate, providing uninterrupted life-saving obstetric support to birth attendants facing pregnancy complications and dangerous deliveries. © UNFPA Afghanistan
  • 28 September 2021

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.

News

Reproductive health supplies airlifted into quake-shattered Haiti

Reproductive health supplies airlifted into quake-shattered Haiti
Tens of thousands of pregnant women are expected to need safe delivery services in quake-affected areas in the coming weeks. © UNFPA Haiti/Samuel Lamery Pierre
  • 22 September 2021

PORT-AU-PRINCE/NEW YORK – UNFPA and partner agencies airlifted more than 125 tonnes of life-saving supplies to earthquake-shattered parts of Haiti, part of the EU Humanitarian Air Bridge operation.

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