Life-Saving Work of Midwives Hailed

Life-Saving Work of Midwives HailedLife-Saving Work of Midwives Hailed

The International Day of the Midwife (May 5), celebrates the life-saving work of the world’s midwives who are the primary care givers for millions of women and newborns before, during and after childbirth, and also offer women and girls essential counseling and education on reproductive health.

Midwives play a key role in saving the lives of women and newborns. Women who receive continued care from midwives throughout pregnancy and birth are more likely to give birth to healthy babies and be healthy mothers. In midwifery-led care, emphasis is placed on normality, continuity of care and being cared for by a known, trusted midwife during labor, said Dr. Maha El Adawy, UNFPA representative in Iran, on the occasion, the website reported.

Around the world, every year, nearly 40 million women give birth without skilled care, increasing the risk of death and disability for both the mother and newborn.

These global figures stand in stark contrast to Iran, where 96.4% of deliveries are assisted by skilled attendants, reflecting the government’s commitment to the issue of maternal health. Iran is one of the few countries to have already achieved MDG 5, namely to reduce by three quarters the maternal mortality rate. Not only has Iran reached MDG 5 – it has also surpassed it, with an 83% drop in the MMR between 1990 and 2012, she said, congratulating Iran on this remarkable achievement.

She also commended Iran’s efforts in promoting natural delivery and reducing the number of cesarean sections.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has a lot to offer and share with other countries. We are currently involved in an excellent example of South-South cooperation. UNFPA Iran, together with Iran’s Ministry of Health and in close cooperation with UNHCR, UNFPA Afghanistan and other key players, have started a project on “Improving Maternal Health in Afghanistan and for Afghan Refugees Living in Iran.”

Among others, the project aims at strengthening midwifery services in Afghanistan using Iranian expertise, and training Afghan refugees in Iran on midwifery. “This is just one example of South-South cooperation, and how we can share Iran’s expertise on safe motherhood with other countries in the region,” she noted.