Millions of lives of women and newborns could be saved with more investment in midwives

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UNFPA/Nadine Azifan (NICA ID: 545408)

Investing in midwifery services could save millions of lives around the world according to a report launched by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA).

The State of the World's Midwifery 2014 report reveals that in the previous year almost 290,000 women and close to three million newborn babies died from complications and illnesses that could have been prevented by a midwife.

It says that with more investment maternal and newborn deaths could be significantly cut.

However, UNFPA Executive Director, Babatunde Osotimehin, says saving lives is not just about providing enough funding.

"It's down to several things. Political will, resources. We also must have appropriate legislation; infrastructure to be able to look after the training. Then we need to ensure that we have quality of care."

The report says that 96 per cent of all maternal deaths and 91 per cent of all stillbirths occur in 73 low and middle-income countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations

Duration: 1’18″

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