Midwives are the unsung heroes of maternal and newborn health. They can prevent about two thirds of deaths among women and newborns. And midwives deliver much more than babies: They are the connective tissue for communities, helping women and girls care for their health, from family planning all the way through the postpartum period.
UNFPA and partners produced 2014 edition of The State of the World's Midwifery report to shed light on the important role of these healthcare professionals. The report shines a light on the vast shortage of midwives across low- and middle-income countries, and on the progress made since our inaugural report in 2011.
Learn more about the 73 countries in the report, which carry the burden of more than 96 per cent of maternal deaths and 93 per cent of newborn deaths globally.
Midwives are key to a healthy and safe pregnancy and childbirth
Midwives can help avert some two thirds of all maternal and newborn deaths and half of newborn deaths, provided they are well-trained, well-equipped, well-supported and authorized.
This slide show, created from photographs from Jhpiego shot in various countries, show that midwives deliver not only babies, but also comprehensive sexual reproductive health services, including family planning counselling and services, post-abortion care, treatment of malaria in pregnancy and the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
Photos: Jhpiego/Kate Holt