Sweden launches a global campaign for midwifery
The Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs is launching the global campaign midwives4all to trigger engagement and to reinforce the discussion on the benefits of midwifery. Here are some examples on Sida's work to strengthen the capacity of midwives.
The purpose of midwives4all is to get more people, organizations and stakeholders to actively advocate for and help ensure that more people have access to a midwife when they need one.
In 2013 alone, 289,000 women died worldwide from childbirth complications. Nearly 3 million newborns die in the first month of life and 2.6 million newborns are stillborn each year. The vast majority of these women and children lose their lives due to complications and illnesses that could have been prevented. Expanding the ranks of well–trained midwives working alongside other health professionals could save thousands of lives every year. And yet in too many countries this profession still doesn't exist.
Sida's health aid amounted to SEK 1.6 billion in 2013, accounting for 9 per cent of the total cooperation, and it is focused on reducing child mortality and improving maternal health as well as strengthening poor women's and girls' sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).
As midwifery is a key element of SRHR, Sida has a particular focus on giving more women access to better prenatal care, for instance by investing in education of midwives.
At a global level, Sida contributed to the training of more than 400 midwifery teachers, capacity enhancement for 175 midwifery schools and establishment of 35 midwifery associations in 2013, via UNFPA. In Bangladesh 596 midwives were trained and in Somalia a midwifery school was set up in Mogadishu.
One concrete example from Bangladesh is a capacity development of the Bangladesh Midwifery Society by The Swedish Association of Midwives, as well as the production of a book called Midwives in the Service of Life, financed by the Swedish Embassy in Bangladesh.