AMREF Calls on Sub-Saharan African Governments to Increase Numbers of Midwives

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In honor of International Day of the Midwife (tomorrow, May 5th), our colleagues at AMREF shared a blog post today that calls on governments and development partners to invest in training midwives. The post describes the critical role that midwives play in sub-Saharan Africa and outlines the various ways that AMREF is supporting midwives–including their efforts to train 15,000 midwives in sub-Saharan Africa by 2015 as well as their plans to nominate an African midwife for the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize.


From AMREF’s post:

Midwife literally translates to “With a Woman” from Latin, reflecting the practice that from time immemorial, women sought the assistance of other women close to them at the time of labour and childbirth. Midwives have therefore been part of the human experience since time immemorial.


Up until the advent of modern midwifery in approximately the 17th and 18th centuries when the first schools of midwifery training appeared in Europe, the whole world had approximately the same levels of maternal death during childbirth, roughly 20%, with the most feared causes being hemorrhage and puerperal fever, or infection after childbirth. Today, there is very low maternal mortality in the developed world, not least because of the professionalization of midwifery in those countries. However, approximately 35,000 women continue to suffer severe complications of childbirth daily, with about 900 deaths every day, most in the developing countries of Africa and Asia (The State of the World’s Midwifery 2011)…


Read the full story here.


Learn more about AMREF’s work to train health workers here.


For more information about International Day of the Midwife, visit the International Confederation of Midwives website.


Join the conversation about midwives on Twitter: #InternationalDayoftheMidwife and #midwives.