‘Over 11,000 mothers die due to childbirth complications’ – 05 Aug 2022

Speakers say trained midwives can help avert two-thirds of maternal deaths

Speakers have said that every year, almost 11,500 mothers die in Pakistan during childbirth complications that could be prevented.

They said that as per the sustainable development goal commitment, Pakistan has pledged to significantly improve access to maternal health services and reduce the preventable maternal mortality ratio from the current 186/100,000 live births to below 70/100,000 live births by 2030.

They said that skilled midwives can help avert almost two-thirds of all maternal and newborn deaths and can deliver 87% of all essential sexual, reproductive, maternal and newborn health services.

In addition to attending safe childbirths, they said, 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 of which can save the lives of women and babies in Pakistan.

The UNFPA, in collaboration with the Health Services Academy and the Fatima Jinnah Women University, is launching a Bachelor of Science Midwifery Programme to help reduce the shortage of midwives in the primary health care system in Pakistan.

The 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 the International Confederation of Midwives.

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

UNFPA Deputy Representative Latika Maskey Pradhan said “UNFPA’s vision is to strengthen the workforce through informed policies and regulations for the midwives. We believe in the continuous professional development of every midwife and the 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.

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