Across borders and barriers: Midwives are saving lives in Africa


Maureen McTeer headshot

October 3, 2018

Maureen McTeer to give keynote; midwives from Ethiopia, DRC share their experiences

Maureen McTeer

October 16, 2018 Midwives Save Lives keynote speaker, Maureen McTeer

OTTAWA – Bringing life into the world should never put a woman at risk. Unfortunately, in many African countries it does. Every day, approximately 830 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. Midwives are part of the solution in helping mothers and their babies get the support they need. Cuso International’s Midwives Save Lives (MSL) program, in partnership with the Canadian Association of Midwives, works with midwifery associations to transform maternal and neo-natal healthcare in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Benin, Ethiopia and Tanzania.

On October 16, 2018, Cuso International hosts a rare opportunity to hear directly from women who are part of the growing movement to save lives and support mothers in Africa through midwifery. Women’s rights activist Maureen McTeer will give the keynote address, followed by a panel discussion featuring midwives from Ethiopia and Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as Midwives Save Lives representatives. Mona Fortier, MP for Ottawa-Vanier, will emcee. Midwifery in Africa: Across borders and barriers takes place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Orange Art Gallery, 290 City Centre Ave., Ottawa.

“This is an exciting opportunity to hear from midwives who are saving lives,” says Glenn Mifflin, CEO of Cuso International. “And we are very pleased Maureen McTeer, lawyer, author and leading advocate for gender equality, speak on the importance of women-centred care.”

Midwives Save Lives is focused on sharing knowledge and delivering training in basic and emergency maternal and neonatal obstetrics; respectful maternity care and raising awareness among midwives around women’s rights and their role in advancing those rights by providing dignified care; and community education via local health workers and leaders.

“Together, we are reducing deaths and illness in women and their newborns and ensuring safe childbirth. We are strengthening the availability, access to and quality of reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health services,” says Moya Crangle, Cuso International Midwives Save Lives Project Director. “Last year, more than 321,000 pregnant women and newborns benefited from our MSL program.”


Midwives Save Lives

Cuso International’s Midwives Save Lives (MSL), in partnership with the Canadian Association of Midwives, is creating lasting change in Ethiopia, Benin, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Tanzania. In addition to developing and delivering training, our volunteers are working alongside midwives’ associations and local non-governmental organizations in each country to share expertise and help partner organizations build their capacity to advocate for midwives.

Cuso International

Cuso International is a non-profit development organization that works to reduce poverty and inequality through the efforts of highly skilled volunteers, collaborative partnerships and compassionate donors. Established in 1961, Cuso International is a registered charity in Canada and the United States. Funds raised have enabled more than 15,000 volunteer placements around the world.

We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada.

Registered charitable numbers:
Canada: 81111 6813 RR0001
United States: EIN 30-0545486

Media Contacts

Eileen Melnick-McCarthy, Director, Communications and Marketing
Tel: 613-829-7445 ext. 215 | 1-888-434-2876 ext. 215

Jessica Cunha, Communications Officer
613-829-7445 x 346 | 1-888-434-2876 x 346