UN / MIDWIFERY REPORT

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05-May-2021 00:02:21
Fully investing in midwives by 2035 would avert roughly two-thirds of maternal, newborn deaths and stillbirths, saving 4.3 million lives per year, according to the 2021 State of World’s Midwifery report issued by UNFPA, WHO, International Confederation of Midwives and partners, which evaluates the midwifery workforce and related health resources in 194 countries. UNIFEED

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STORY; UN / MIDWIFERY REPORT
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SOURCE: UNIFEED
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LANGUAGE: ENGLISH /NATS

DATELINE: 5 MAY 2021, NEW YORK CITY

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1.Exterior shot, UN Headquarters on East River

5 MAY 2021, NEW YORK CITY

2.Multiscreen, virtual press briefing
3.SOUNDBITE (English) Elizabeth Iro, Chief Nursing Officer, WHO:
“The State of World’s Midwifery 2021 report demonstrates the importance and the effectiveness of midwives as core members of interdisciplinary health teams. These are committed and compassionate health workers whom despite the risk of working during the pandemic have continued to provide respectful care despite essential health care services being disrupted.”
4. Multiscreen, virtual press briefing
5.SOUNDBITE (English) Elizabeth Iro, Chief Nursing Officer, WHO:
“As the world invest in economic recovery and fiscal stimulus measures, a greater share of this must target jobs and services in health and social care. We know where we must invest to strengthen midwifery care for all who need it.”
6. Multiscreen, virtual press briefing
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Sally Pairman, Chief Executive, International Confederation of Midwives (ICM):
“The global shortage of midwives is currently stands at 900,000 midwives and at current rates, we will still be short about 750,000 midwives and 2030, when the UN Sustainable Development Goals are supposed to be achieved. The shortage is most alarming in low income and middle income countries and especially in Africa. And these countries account for over 95 percent of global maternal and newborn deaths and stillbirths.”
8. Multiscreen, virtual press briefing
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Sally Pairman, Chief Executive, International Confederation of Midwives (ICM):
“This acute shortage of midwives is exacerbating a terrible global toll in the form of preventable deaths, and an analysis for this report which I did if there was full resourcing of midwife care by 2035, it could avert 67 percent of maternal deaths, 64 percent of newborn deaths and 65 percent of stillbirths, It could save an estimated 4.3 million lives per year.”
10.Multiscreen, virtual press briefing
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Sally Pairman, Chief Executive, International Confederation of Midwives (ICM):
“This report also highlights gender inequality is an unacknowledged driver in this shortage. The continued under resourcing of the medical free workforce is a symptom of health systems not prioritizing the sexual and reproductive health needs of women and girls, and not recognizing roles of midwives, most of whom are women, to meet these needs.”
12. Multiscreen, virtual press briefing

STORYLINE:

Fully investing in midwives by 2035 would avert roughly two-thirds of maternal, newborn deaths and stillbirths, saving 4.3 million lives per year, according to the 2021 State of World’s Midwifery report issued by UNFPA (the UN sexual and reproductive health agency), WHO (World Health Organization), International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) and partners, which evaluates the midwifery workforce and related health resources in 194 countries.

Millions of lives of women and newborns are lost, and millions more experience ill health or injury, because the needs of pregnant women and skills of midwives are not recognized or prioritized.

The world is currently facing a shortage of 900 000 midwives, which represents a third of the required global midwifery workforce. The COVID-19 crisis has only exacerbated these problems, with the health needs of women and newborns being overshadowed, midwifery services being disrupted and midwives being deployed to other health services.

The acute shortage of midwives is exacting a terrible global toll in the form of preventable deaths. An analysis conducted for this report, published in the Lancet last December, showed that fully resourcing midwife-delivered care by 2035 could avert 67 per cent of maternal deaths, 64 per cent of newborn deaths and 65 per cent of stillbirths. It could save an estimated 4.3 million lives per year.

Despite alarms raised in the last State of the World’s Midwifery report in 2014, which also provided a roadmap on how to remedy this deficit, progress over the past eight years has been too slow. The analysis in this year’s report shows that, at current rates of progress, the situation will have improved only slightly by 2030.

Gender inequality is an unacknowledged driver in this massive shortage. The continued under-resourcing of the midwifery workforce is a symptom of health systems not prioritizing the sexual and reproductive health needs of women and girls, and not recognizing the role of midwives – most of whom are women – to meet these needs. Women account for 93 per cent of midwives and 89 per cent of nurses.

Midwives do not just attend births. They also provide antenatal and postnatal care and a range of sexual and reproductive health services, including family planning, detecting and treating sexually transmitted infections, and sexual and reproductive health services for adolescents, all while ensuring respectful care and upholding women’s rights. As numbers of midwives increase, and they are able to provide care in an enabling environment, women’s and newborns’ health improves as a whole, benefitting all of society.

For midwives to achieve their life-saving and life-changing potential, greater investment is needed in their education and training, midwife-led service delivery, and midwifery leadership. Governments must prioritise funding and support for midwifery and take concrete steps to include midwives in determining health policies.
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