UNFPA: More Midwives Would Increase Healthier Pregnancies, Births
Public health experts and midwives gathered in Tunisia on Tuesday for the first International Forum on Midwifery in the Community, urging governments to promote midwifery as a means to decrease maternal and infant death rates. Members from the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the World Health Organization (WHO), and other organizations from 20 countries called on governments to invest in training and supporting midwives in order to ensure that every woman has access to a skilled care provider during childbirth, something the UNFPA identifies as a "woman's basic human right." According to the 2005 WHO World Health Report, an estimated 334,000 additional midwives are required to reduce the number of maternal and infant deaths and disabilities during childbirth, the UNFPA cites in its release.
The UNFPA reports that, after an initial investment in midwifery programs, several countries including Costa Rica, Egypt, Malaysia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Tunisia have seen an improvement in the health and well-being of new mothers and babies. Worldwide, WHO found in 2005 that approximately 530,000 women die from preventable pregnancy- and childbirth-related causes, and that seven million infants die within four weeks of childbirth due to preventable causes, Medical News Today reports.
Kathy Herschderfer, the Secretary General of ICM, told the UNFPA, "Midwives form the bridge between communities and facilities. They transcend the levels of care within health systems, and are essential to the continuum of care during the childbearing cycle."
11/25/2015 Afghan Women Launch 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence - Afghanistan marked the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and begun participating in the worldwide 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, which is being called in Afghanistan "Peace from Home to the World." During the launch day's event, which was attended by government officials, including First Lady Rula Ghani and women's rights activists, speakers expressed their commitment to ending violence against women.
First Lady, Rula Ghani gave a speech on ending violence against women and supporting women by stating that "war often leads society towards violence and this violence is in violation of human dignity. . . .