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The report is coordinated by:
on behalf of the H4+ (UNAIDS, UNFPA, UNICEF, UN Women, WHO, and the World Bank)
with the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM)
and supports the UN Secretary-General’s Every Woman, Every Child campaign.

Supporting partners:
Australian Aid
Averting Maternal Death and Disability Programme (AMDD)
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Department of International Development (DFID, United Kingdom)
Family Care International
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
Girls’ Globe
Instituto de Cooperación Social Integrare
International Council of Nurses (ICN)
International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO)
Johnson & Johnson
Mamaye! Evidence for Action
Ministère des Affaires Etrangères et Européennes (France)
Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad)
Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health
Save the Children
Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)
University of Southampton
University of Technology, Sydney
USAID’s Maternal and Child Health Integrated Programme (MCHIP)
White Ribbon Alliance

State of the World’s Midwifery 2014

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.



Executive summary English Français Español Arabic
Fact sheet English Français Español Arabic
Infographic English
Francais Español  
Key Messages English Français Español  
Advocacy Toolkit English      


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

News and Updates

21 September 2014

In race to save women’s lives, solutions are within reach, says UNFPA head

NEW YORK, United States – There are fewer than 500 days left to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and too little progress has been made towards reducing maternal and child deaths. Yet simple, proven interventions can make these goals attainable, said Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, UNFPA’s Executive Director, at the fifth annual Social Good Summit, a conference of world leaders, activists and technology experts, held today in New York. more
29 August 2014

From promise to action: Ending preventable maternal deaths in Kenya

UNITED NATIONS, New York – Key governors committed to take action to reduce Kenya’s high maternal death rate at a UNFPA-organized meeting held this week in Nairobi. The event brought together over 200 officials to address Kenya’s persistently high rate of maternal mortality, which is among the highest in the world. more
15 July 2014

Fistula survivors treated through M-Pesa mobile banking scheme in Tanzania

NEW YORK, United States – Mama Hadija, now in her 60s, had grown accustomed to living in shame. Over 25 years ago, she suffered a prolonged, obstructed labour. The ordeal caused her to develop an obstetric fistula, a form of internal damage that results in incontinence, stigma and isolation. more