Midwives, main supporters of women’s health

May 8, 2018

TEHRAN – The International Day of Midwife, May 5, is a good opportunity to honor the patient, sincere and hardworking strata of the society who make attempts for promoting the health of society, said Maryam Hazrati as the deputy health minister for nursing, here on Saturday.

The midwifery compiles the knowledge and professional skills with self-sacrifice and beliefs to provide the society with healthy mothers and infants, Mehr quoted Hazrati, PhD in gerontological nursing and the chancellor of the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, as saying.

Midwives are vital to driving sustainable development and key to helping mothers, and expectant-mothers, make informed, healthy choices, said the United Nations health agency’s chief nurse on Friday.

WHO’s Chief Nursing Officer, Elizabeth Iro, said ahead of the International Day of the Midwife, marked on Saturday, that communities everywhere were best served by letting midwives work together with mothers and their newborns, to provide continuity of care, as children develop.

“This is based on research that demonstrates that not only is continuity of care preferred by women but also that there are profound impacts, including a 24 percent reduction in pre-term births,” said Iro.

Evidence has also found that professionally-qualified midwives are able to meet 87 percent of the needs of women and newborns, she added.

The International Day of the Midwife, observed on May 5, recognizes the vital role these healthcare professionals have in preventing maternal and newborn deaths and empowering women to make the best choices for themselves and their babies.

The theme for this year’s celebration of one of the world’s oldest and most important professions is: “Midwives leading the way with quality care.”

In her message, Iro also highlighted the importance of the role of midwives in delivering on the globally-agreed 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Key health targets to meet development goal 3, include progress on reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health.

At health facilities and in communities, midwives help women and newborns work together to improve child health overall. 

“This puts midwives at the center of delivering this agenda,” highlighted the WHO official.

“As midwives we have come a long way” she said, “to help all women, newborns and their families to not only survive but to thrive and transform the world we live in.”

Safe hands save lives

Hand Hygiene Day is also being marked on May 5, highlighting the importance of the simple but beneficial act of washing your hands regularly to ward off infections or disease.

“It’s in your hands: prevent sepsis in health care”, is the theme this year.

According to Iro, it’s a practice that is all the more important for midwives, as sepsis – a life-threatening condition – affects three million newborns, can kill up to five hundred thousand before they are a month old, and causes one in ten maternal deaths.

This year's theme resonates with the first of ICM's three Strategic Directions, established in the 2017-2020 Strategy as Quality, Equity, Leadership. 

Midwives leading the way with quality care is significant in highlighting the vital role that midwives play not only in ensuring women and their newborns navigate pregnancy and childbirth safely, but also receive respectful and well-resourced maternity care that can create a lifetime of good health and wellbeing beyond the childbirth continuum.

NM/MQ/MG

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