Maternal Health Task Force


Celebrating the International Day of the Midwife

By: Sarah Blake, MHTF consultant

The International Day of the Midwife was marked yesterday, May 5. The International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) hosted the Virtual Day of the Midwife, a 24-hour series of presentations to mark the date. Midwives, advocates, researchers and others spoke on topics related to midwifery practice and policy around the world and recordings of their presentations are now posted online.

However, the May 5 events were only the beginning. The celebration will continue for a few more days as organizations around the world make space for considering the vital ways that midwives contribute to the health and well-being of mothers and children everywhere. On Tuesday, May 7, at 2:00pm (EDT), Jhpiego and the Frontline Health Workers Coalition are hosting a “virtual conference” Twitter chat under the hashtag #IDMchat.

In addition, the White Ribbon Alliance Tanzania has produced a video, “What I Want is Simple,” in which midwives from around Tanzania speak about their working conditions, tying their needs as workers to the challenges of securing respectful maternity care for all women. The video, along with an accompanying blog post are available on Impatient Optimists, the blog of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which is currently hosting a series of guest posts by Frontline Health Workers Coalition, with new posts published every Thursday.

For more, read the joint statement from the directors of UNFPA and the ICM on International Day of the Midwife, visit the ICM’s mini-blog series highlighting midwives’ roles in providing family planning services, or visit UNFPA’s slideshow and feature stories on the vital role in promoting maternal and newborn health.  And, check out the #MidwivesMatter Twitter relay or the ICM’s International Day of the Midwife resources.

Categories: Maternal Health


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