Why We’re Equipping a New Generation of Midwives: Hear from the Educators Themselves

05 May 2023

The Alliance to Improve Midwifery Education (AIME) partners and midwifery educators from 19 countries and UNFPA staff gathered at the Asia-Pacific Regional Midwifery Education workshop. ©UNFPA/Luke Duggleby

If skilled midwives were to attend to every birth, 4.3 million mothers and newborns could be saved by 2035. Investing in midwifery education is crucial, and today, on the International Day of the Midwife, we cannot emphasize this enough. Currently, the world is short 900,000 midwives. The Alliance to Improve Midwifery Education (AIME), established by UNFPA and its partners, aims to bridge this gap by strengthening the quality of midwifery education. 

Earlier this year, an AIME workshop brought together midwifery educators from 19 different countries. Highlighting the importance of this initiative, participants articulated a common conviction: Midwives save lives. Below, they share their personal motivations behind equipping a new generation of midwives: 

A woman smiles.
©UNFPA/Luke Duggleby

“I was pregnant. I still feel the pain.”

Every 11 seconds, a pregnant mother or a newborn loses their life, somewhere in the world. Jesmin Akhtar, a midwifery educator from Bangladesh, shares her heartbreaking story and explains how the loss of her own child prompted her to help mothers and newborns. 




A woman smiles.
©UNFPA/Luke Duggleby

“Women in rural areas don’t have access.”

Most newborns and pregnant women die due to preventable and treatable reasons, and women in remote areas can be helped with timely intervention. Souksavanh Keobailuang, a midwifery educator from the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, recognizes that women in rural areas often deliver at home, and she educates midwives on how to provide antenatal care. 




A woman smiles.
©UNFPA/Luke Duggleby

“Midwives are providing emotional support.”

Dr. Inderdeep Kaur, from India, believes that words of compassion and emotional support can help reduce the pain faced by women. She emphasizes that well-trained and competent midwives are not only addressing medical needs, but also providing emotional support. 

To learn more about investing in midwifery education and programmes, kindly contact us. UNFPA’s Strategic Partnerships Branch helps create tailored programmes addressing all stakeholders involved in the realisation of reproductive rights.

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