A Midwife Crisis

Photo by Gates Foundation, <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/gatesfoundation/5466358415/sizes/m/in/photostream/">via Flickr</a>.

Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.


Increased access to and training for midwives in developing countries could save millions of lives every year, according to a new report that the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) issued Monday. Improved access to professional midwives could save 3.6 million lives in 58 developing countries by 2015, the report concludes.

Some shocking figures from the report:

Each year, 358,000 women die while pregnant or giving birth, some two million newborns die within the first 24 hours of life and there are 2.6 million stillbirths, all because of inadequate or insufficient health care.

At least 350,000 additional trained midwives are needed around the world. Without more skilled midwives, 38 of the 58 countries surveyed are likely to fall short of the Millennium Development Goal of having 95 percent of births attended by skilled midwives by 2015. UNFPA also estimates that up to 90 percent of maternal deaths could be avoided if midwives were available to refer women with complications to doctors as needed. Among the countries most in need: Cameroon, Chad, Ethiopia, Guinea, Haiti, Niger, Sierra Leone, Somalia and Sudan.

More on the UNFPA report here.

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Or at least we hope. It’s fall fundraising time, and we’re trying to raise $250,000 to help fund Mother Jones’ journalism during a shorter than normal three-week push.

If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you'll agree is worth supporting.

payment methods

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Or at least we hope. It’s fall fundraising time, and we’re trying to raise $250,000 to help fund Mother Jones’ journalism during a shorter than normal three-week push.

If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you’ll agree is worth supporting.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate