Better midwifery can save millions of mothers, children: UN report
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Reiterating that midwifery plays a critical role in improving maternal and newborn survival and health, a new International report has suggested that more investment needs to be made in skilled care to save women and children who die due to lack of adequate healthcare during childbirth.
According to State of the World Midwifery 2011, a report by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), in India "ensuring availability of human resources for skilled attendance at birth in remote areas remains a challenge... in some regions the majority of midwifery services are provided by auxiliary nurse midwives, who lack full set of competencies".
There are about 3,24,624 midwives in India. The report suggests that most deaths occur in low-income countries because women have no access to functioning health facilities or to qualified health professionals, notably midwives and others with midwifery skills. It further states every year 3,58,000 women and 3.6 million newborns die due to complications in pregnancy, childbirth and the postnatal period.
Up to another 3 million babies are stillborn. "Everyday approximately 35,000 women will experience birth complications and 900 are likely to die," it says.
The report estimates that countries require a minimum of six skilled birth attendants per 1000 births if they are to achieve the aim of 95 per cent coverage.
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