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."
10/21/2014 Afghanistan's New First Lady Advances Women's Issues - Just a few days after moving to the presidential palace, Afghanistan's new First Lady Rula Ghani said that she hopes to encourage greater respect for women.
Rula Ghani already broke tradition by participating in her husband, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai's, campaign for President. . . .
10/21/2014 Hulu Silences Rape Survivor Speaking Out Against Anti-Abortion Amendment 67 in Colorado - Hulu, an online, ad-supported streaming service, has refused to run an advertisement from the "No on 67" campaign in Colorado, citing the company's policy regarding "controversial" political positions on issues like abortion.
In a letter to the CEO of Hulu, dated October 10, the Vote No on 67 Campaign, which is supported by the Feminist Majority Foundation, asked the company to reconsider its unwillingness to air a 35-second spot featuring a rape survivor's testimony about the far-reaching impact of Colorado's proposed Amendment 67. . . .