Midwives play a crucial role in the world, especially now that the world is facing a global pandemic. With these front liners playing their role of life-saving services to women for many decades, there has been a commendable decline in the maternal and newborn deaths since 1990 due to the fact that women are now receiving better midwifery care. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), quality midwifery reduces maternal and newborn mortality and stillbirth rates by over 80 percent and reduces preterm labour and birth by 24 percent.
However, it was noted that thousands of women and newborns still die each year during pregnancy and childbirth due to the short supply of midwives in many developing countries where they still lack the skills and supportive environment to perform their jobs well.
The 2020 International Day of the Midwife was tagged ‘Midwives with Women: Celebrate, Demonstrate, Mobilise, Unite – Our Time Is NOW’. The WHO stated that ‘nurses and midwives play a vital role in providing health services. These are people who devote their lives to caring for mothers and children; giving lifesaving immunisation and health advice; looking after older people and generally meeting everyday essential health needs. They are often the first and only point of care in their communities. The world needs 9 million more nurses and midwives if it is to achieve universal health coverage by 2030’.
To celebrate the day since the world is at home due to the Covid-19 pandemic, WHO asked everyone to share a post on social media celebrating midwives across the globe. The WHO Chief Nursing Officer, Elizabeth Iro, gave a statement in a live video concerning the celebration of the day. There were also films of nurses and midwives showed to mark the day.
The Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Tedros Ghebreyesus, also took to his Twitter account to celebrate the International Day of Midwife. He appreciated all midwives around the world, saying, ‘Please accept our greatest respect and appreciation from WHO to all the midwives around the world‘.
Photo source: UN Geneva