Skilled midwives can help avert maternal, newborn deaths

Our Correspondent
Friday, Aug 05, 2022

Islamabad : Skilled midwives can help avert almost two-thirds of all maternal and newborn deaths and can deliver 87 per cent of all essential sexual, reproductive, maternal and newborn health services.

In addition to attending safe childbirths, midwives also provide family planning services, health education, prevention of mother to child HIV transmission, essential newborn care, gender based violence management and cancer screening, all this can save lives of women and babies in Pakistan.

UNFPA, in collaboration with Health Services Academy and Fatima Jinnah Women University, is launching a Bachelor of Science Midwifery Programme to help reduce the shortage of midwives in primary-health care system in Pakistan. First training course of faculty for the midwifery programme was organised at Health Services Academy in collaboration with Brunet Institute.

The programme is designed under the guidance of principles and content of International Confederation of Midwives. Prof. Dr. Mubashar Hanif, Registrar, Health Services Academy said “Health indicators in Pakistan show that there has been improvement in maternal and infant mortality, however, there is great need for us to do. HSA is committed to strong research projects and global best practices to help build more such programs to help improve Pakistan’s health indicators.”

Speaking at the closing ceremony, Deputy Representative, UNFPA Latika Maskey Pradhan said, “UNFPA’s vision is to strengthen the workforce through informed policies and regulations for the midwives. We believe in continuous professional development of every midwife and improvement of the status of Midwifery programmes. UNFPA, under the new country programme, will specifically focus on midwifery education, regulation and association as per the standards of the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) along with strengthening the health system capacity and infrastructure to provide high-quality and voluntary family planning services, emergency obstetric and newborn care and gender-based violence related services.”

Participants of the training include faculty from Fatima Jinnah University, Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, DOW University Karachi and Health Services Academy. Every year, almost 11,500 mothers die in Pakistan during childbirth from causes that could be prevented. As per the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) commitment, Pakistan has pledged to significantly improve access to maternal health services and reduce preventable maternal mortality ratio from current 186/100,000 live birth to below 70/100,000 live birth by 2030.