Intended for healthcare professionals


Number of midwives is critically low in many poor countries, study shows

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 20 June 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d3881
  1. Peter Moszynski
  1. 1London

Up to 3.6 million deaths would be avoided each year if midwifery services in 58 developing countries were upgraded by 2015, says the United Nations Population Fund.

Each year some 358 000 women die in pregnancy or while giving birth, two million newborns die within the first 24 hours, and there are 2.6 million stillbirths because of “inadequate or insufficient healthcare,” says a report launched by the fund at this week’s triennial congress of the International Confederation of Midwives in Durban, South Africa.

Most of these countries were “suffering from a crisis in human resources for health,” the report says. Women in these countries …

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