Training the next generation of midwives

The numbers are staggering: each year an estimated 289,000 women worldwide die during pregnancy and childbirth, and 2.6 million suffer stillbirths. With 50 per cent of the maternal mortality rate reported from just six countries, Canadian international development organization Cuso International is focusing its Midwives Save Lives (MSL) initiative in four of these countries: Benin, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ethiopia and Tanzania.

The four-year initiative to reduce maternal and newborn mortality by improving the supply of and demand for health services and strengthening the work of midwives’ associations is led by Cuso in partnership with the Canadian Association of Midwives (CAM) and local midwifery associations.

The scale of the challenges facing women in these countries is enormous. More than 80 per cent of women in the DRC don’t have access to health professionals, and if care is available it’s often avoided because of the fear of disrespect and abuse encountered in facility-based maternity care, which can be a more powerful deterrent than cost or distance.

ARTICLE: Training the next generation of midwives
The Globe and Mail
Published: November 15, 2019