Thursday, May 5, 2011

Celebrating the Midwives that make Healthy Mothers

An Ethiopian midwife visits a pregnant
patient at home. Ethiopia. (Source)
By: Abel Tadesse
Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Ethiopian Global Initiative (EGI) continues its efforts in meeting the objectives outlined in the Midwives Scholarship Fund (MSF). On this day May 5, 2011 the MSF team echoes its support for the celebration of International Day of the Midwife, recognizing all midwives throughout the globe.

Midwives play critical role during and after pregnancy to the mother as well as to the newborn and family. They are key to reaching out to the communities especially in developing countries where there is limited access to health care professionals.

As we celebrate the International Day of the Midwife, we need to make a note that there is a momentous amount of work that needs to be done surrounding access to education to midwives and other healthcare professionals.

The World Health Organization Assistant Director, Dr. Flavia Bustreo, released a statement today addressing the importance of strengthening the midwives workforce throughout the world. Dr. Bustreo further explained that it is no question that we need to accelerate our focus to reinforce the need to meet the Millennium Development Goals Four and Five as the statistics show a high prevalence of maternal and child mortality rate; 350,000 women and 3.6 million newborns die each year globally.

EGI is working to support MDGs Four and Five through the Midwives Scholarship Fund. Through this project, we plan to provide full scholarships to students at the Hamlin College of Midwives in Ethiopia, where students will complete a four-year program to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Midwifery.

There is no doubt that this project will increase education access to midwives, mothers, families and communities throughout Ethiopia and in result a decrease in maternal and child deaths.

Abel Tadesse holds a Master of Health Sciences from George Mason University. He is Project Manager of the EGI Midwives Scholarship Fund.

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