Advocates Draw Attention to Failed Efforts To Reduce Maternal Mortality, Mark International Day of Midwife
In a statement marking International Day of the Midwife on Tuesday, the executive director of UNFPA called upon international governments to contribute to the Maternal Health Trust Fund and support community midwives, the Oman Observer reports. "Every minute a woman dies in childbirth. And the presence of a midwife can save her life," Thoraya Obaid said (Khalfan, Oman Observer, 5/2).
The Herald writes, "More than 500,000 women, 99% of whom live in developing countries, die every year after suffering complications in pregnancy or labour and as many as one in seven women in some countries will die from pregnancy-related causes."
Despite the U.N.'s Millennium Development Goal (MDG) to reduce maternal mortality by 75% between 1990 and 2015, U.N. figures show that between 1990 and 2005, maternal mortality fell by less than 1% each year, according to the Herald. To reach the U.N. goal, maternal mortality needs to fall by 5.5% annually (Churchill, Herald, 5/5).
The Oman Observer reports that to help meet the shortage of midwives in more than 30 developing countries, the UNFPA partnered with the International Confederation of Midwives last year. Their efforts have helped to introduce midwife training in Laos and increase training opportunities for nurses in the Gulf states. According to the Oman Observer, Obaid said that an additional 350,000 midwives are needed worldwide to improve maternal and child health, fight HIV and to achieve universal access to reproductive health care in 2015 (Oman Observer, 5/2).
Australia's Parliamentary Secretary for International Development Assistance, Bob McMullan, on Tuesday announced the findings of a recent report that showed the global economic crisis is causing funding gaps in health investments for women and children in the Asia-Pacific region, ISRIA reports.
"It is clear that the Millennium Development Goals to reduce child mortality and improve maternal health will not be met unless there is an increase in funding and development of national strategies to ensure effective allocation of resources," said McMullan, adding, "Engaging donors and partner organisations to invest in maternal and child health is crucial now more than ever" (ISRIA, 5/5).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.