Midwives are the cornerstone to MDG 4 & 5 success

Girls' Globe

The countdown is on: we have less than 500 days to meet Millennium Development Goals (MDG) 4 and 5, focused on improving child and maternal health. Sustained and focused efforts have resulted in impressive improvements in many countries. However, there is still a long way to go, and despite overall global reductions in child (under 5) mortality rates, infant mortality rates have actually risen. Midwives are fundamental in meeting these two MDG’s.

It is not difficult to see how midwives are critical to improving MDG 5 with its related indicators pertaining to:

• maternal mortality ratios
• proportion of births attended by skilled health personnel
• the contraceptive prevalence rate
• the adolescent birth rate
• antenatal care coverage
• the unmet need for family planning

It is estimated that a universal increase in midwifery (including family planning) in 78 of the world’s most resource-poor countries could result in…

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