May 5th, 2016 14:47 EST
UN Marks 'International Day of the Midwife'
Every year, some 300,000 women still die during pregnancy and childbirth and almost three million babies do not survive their first four weeks of life, yet a majority of these deaths could be averted by trained midwives, the United Nations said today as it marked the International Day of the Midwife with a call for strengthened skills and investments in midwifery.
Midwives are our heroes and the backbone of sexual and reproductive health. Let us support them and the women and newborns at the heart of their care, " said Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA).
Saluting the contribution of midwives to saving the lives of women, adolescent girls and newborns, sometimes under very difficult circumstances, the Executive Director emphasized that midwives are essential to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Well-trained and supported midwives working in communities are uniquely positioned to provide the compassionate, respectful and culturally sensitive care a woman needs during pregnancy and childbirth, " Mr. Osotimehin said.
Midwifery is equally important for newborns during the critical first month of life, and is a significant contribution to sexual and reproductive health in general, " he added.
The International Day of the Midwife is observed around the world on 5 May. This year`s theme is Women and Newborns: The Heart of Midwifery.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia