Midwives4all builds on pioneering Dundee work
Published On Fri 13 Mar 2015 by Roddy Isles
An international initiative to spread knowledge about the benefits of midwives and evidence-based midwifery will be launched next week, building on pioneering work from the University of Dundee.
Midwives4all is an initiative of the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. It follows on from a major Lancet series on midwifery which was co-authored by Professor Mary Renfrew from the University of Dundee last year.
The Lancet series highlighted the crucial part midwives play in saving the lives of millions of women and children who die during and around the time of pregnancy.
Professor Renfrew said, “Many of the needs of childbearing women, their babies, and families across the world are still not being met, despite long-standing recognition that women and their babies need access to health care which provides more than just emergency interventions for acute medical problems.
“Although midwifery is already widely acknowledged as making a vital and cost-effective contribution to high-quality maternal and newborn care in many countries, its potential social, economic and health benefits are far from being realised on a global scale.
“It is very encouraging to see the debate we started with the Lancet series being taken on another stage with this new initiative from the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs.”
In order to make more people aware of the benefits of evidence-based midwifery, the Swedish Ministry has joined forces with the team behind the Lancet series on midwifery, the President of the International Confederation of Midwives and other key representatives.
On Monday and Tuesday 16th and 17th March an ideathon (brainstorming event) will be held at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. This is the first of a series of co-created events at which professionals, academics and social entrepreneurs will come together to engage in the topic.
Professor Renfrew will be among the host of experts taking part in the events.
Poor maternal health, including devastating consequences such as stillbirth and newborn death, is an urgent issue to tackle. With this initiative the Swedish MFA wants to spark engagement and greater discussion on the benefits of investing in the midwifery workforce, as well as highlighting the benefits of evidence-based midwifery.
The workshop will be followed by a reception and panel debate at the Swedish Residence in London at 6.30pm on Monday March 16th.
Similar events will be held in April in New York and at Swedish embassies in Asia, Africa and Central America.
For more information see www.midwives4all.org
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