Investing in More Midwives Could Help Save Lives, UN Study Finds

Filed under: In The News, Delivery, Research Reveals: Babies, Pregnancy Health, Research Reveals


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Midwives don't only deliver babies, they can deliver health services to women, as well, something that could affect newborn and maternal deaths worldwide, the Associated Press reports.

According to the news service, a United Nations Population Fund study of 58 countries
identified as "suffering from a crisis in human resources for health," shows midwives should be respected and invested in by governments and donors.

"We have now realized that there is a huge potential in the hands of the midwives that was not being exploited," Dr. Vincent Fauveau, who coordinated the study, tells AP, adding that midwives can assist women with birth control services.

Some of the study's findings, according to the news service, include:
  • Just 6 percent of births in Ethiopia are attended by a doctor, nurse or midwife.
  • AIDS is linked to nearly 80 percent of maternal deaths in Botswana.
  • Midwives in Liberia often deal with 10 to 15 deliveries a day; U.N. health agency recommendations say that number should be one or two.
Fauveau tells AP investing in more clinics is also essential and that war, poverty and hunger serve as other dangers for women and kids.

"The revolution will not take place in a few months or a few years," he tells the news service. "It's a long-term strategy."

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.