The United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA has underscored the need to prioritize and invest in midwives whom she insists are key essential healthcare workers.

The call by the UNFPA executive director Dr. Natalia Kanem comes at a time the world is commemorating the International Day of the Midwife.

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In a statement, Dr. Natalia says championing universal access to skilled midwives is one of the most important ways to prevent two-thirds of maternal and newborn deaths, saving over 4.3 million lives a year by 2035.

Every single year, 287,000 women globally lose their lives giving birth; 2.4 million newborns die and an additional 2.2 million are stillborn.

However, Dr Natalia says if every pregnant woman had access to a well-trained, caring midwife, we would be much closer to a world where every childbirth is safe.

She, however, notes with concern that many health systems continue to marginalize this mostly female workforce and treat midwives poorly in terms of pay, working conditions, and opportunities to cultivate skills.

There is globally a 900,000 shortage of midwives.


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