Family Planning, Maternal Health

Midwives Set The Tone (And A New World Record)

This week, thousands of midwives from all over the word are gathering in Prague, Czech Republic, for the 30th Triennial Congress of Midwives. The theme for the 2014 Congress is “Midwives: Improving Women’s Health Globally”—a nod to the key role midwives play in reducing maternal deaths and achieving Millennium Development Goal 5.

According to a new report, trained midwives could provide 87 percent of the essential care needed for women and newborns, potentially reducing maternal and newborn deaths by two-thirds. However, there remains a vast shortage of midwives in low- and middle-income countries.

This week’s meeting calls attention to the need for more trained midwives around the world, and also fosters a sense of community among those doing this important work. As seen in the video above, a “Voices of Midwives” action—in which 1,563 midwives sang at the same time—set a new world record.

The Congress of Midwives continues all week. See more videos from the meeting here, and follow all the action on twitter with the hashtag #ICMlive.

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