International Midwives Day acknowledges the invaluable work of midwives. This year’s theme for International Midwives Day is a simple truth: through the vital role they play in improving maternal and newborn health, Midwives Save Lives.
In celebration of International Midwives Day this year, the staff of the Lyell McEwin Hospital wore purple casual clothes and made a gold coin donation to the 2h Project’s Safe Arrivals. Many thanks to Merdith Hobbs and Erin Reynolds and to the staff of Lyell McEwin for their valuable contribution to maternal health in Cambodia!
Sadly, midwives and midwifery services remain unequally distributed between and within countries; every year 48 million women give birth without the support of someone with recognised midwifery skills, and over 536,000 women die each year with millions more suffering infection and disability resulting from preventable complications. While International Midwives Day recognises the significant impact midwives have on the health of women and newborns, it is also a call for greater investment to ensure life-saving midwifery care is made more accessible, especially in developing countries where 90% of maternal deaths occur.
Midwives are essential to reaching Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5, targeted at reducing maternal, neonatal and infant deaths worldwide. More than ever, the need for midwives is clear; every childbearing woman should have access to a midwife’s care. Midwives save lives.