Wanted and Needed: Midwives

You can help save 4.3 million lives each year.

Tens of thousands of pregnant women are expected to need safe delivery services in quake-affected areas in the coming weeks. © UNFPA Haiti/Samuel Lamery Pierre

In war-ravaged Yemen, Rahma, a UNFPA midwife, opened a clinic in her home to serve pregnant women who had no other access to care.

In August, a massive, 7.2 magnitude earthquake devastated Haiti’s health system. Amid these extraordinary challenges, Christiane, a midwife-nurse at a UNFPA-supported hospital, continues to help women safely deliver their babies.

Conflict has raged in Tigray, a state in northern Ethiopia, for nearly a year. Still, Berhe, a UNFPA-supported midwife, remains hopeful: “We won’t stop until we can ensure every childbirth is safe again in Tigray,” he said.

When 808 women die every day while giving birth, UNFPA midwives like Rahma, Christiane, and Berhe save lives. And their work creates a global ripple effect. When a mother safely delivers her baby, her family is much less vulnerable. And, her child is more likely to reach their second birthday. When her family can thrive, so can her community, her country—and our world.

If governments fully supported the field of midwifery, we could save an estimated 4.3 million lives each year by averting maternal deaths, newborn deaths, and stillbirths.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic is partly responsible for this acute shortage, gender inequality is at its root. Governments underinvest in midwifery programs and undervalue the skills of a primarily female workforce. The results are tragic—poor health and maternal and newborn deaths, injuries, and stillbirths.

UNFPA is unwavering in its commitment to save lives by training and supporting more midwives. The agency also advocates for countries to invest in midwives and elevate their status. Your gift today will help make this possible, so please be generous!

Dana Kirkegaard
Your support delivers care to women and girls when they need it most.

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