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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
Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (Germany)
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
Luxembourg Agency for Development Cooperation (LuxDev)
Mamaye! Evidence for Action
Ministère des Affaires Etrangères et du Développement International
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      
Fast Facts English Français    


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

24 October 2014

New birthing facility provides culturally sensitive maternal care for indigenous women in the Philippines

SITIO GAWASAN, Philippines – The journey from Sitio Gawasan, on the Philippines island of Mindanao, to the nearest district health centre can take up to four hours – a trip few expectant mothers can afford to take. With UNFPA support, the local indigenous Arumanen community has built a culturally sensitive birthing centre, making safe delivery options more accessible than ever. more
20 October 2014

Pregnant in the shadow of Ebola: Deteriorating health systems endanger women

MONROVIA, Liberia – Thirty-six year old Comfort Fayiah, in Monrovia, Liberia, never imagined her pregnancy would end the way it did – with her giving birth on the side of the road, in a heavy downpour, to twins. Throughout the three countries worst affected by the Ebola crisis, many women are refusing to seek care from health centres, and some overwhelmed, undersupplied health facilities are turning away those who arrive. more
01 October 2014

Bearing witness to a revolution in women’s health and rights

UNITED NATIONS, New York – Next year, Munira Sha’ban will celebrate her 50th year working as a nurse and midwife. Her career has taken her all over the world, to the halls of the United Nations, and, through a televised health show, into the homes of thousands of Jordanian families. In this interview with Ms. Sha’ban, she explains how the steady advancement of human rights has come to some of the most vulnerable women and girls – and what more must be done. more