At a regional midwifery workshop in New Delhi, hosted by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), multilateral, bilateral, and international NGOs released the first-ever joint statement indicating their commitment to scaling up efforts for “adapting, disseminating, and implementing the confederation’s global standards of education, regulation, and professional association,” for midwifery. According to the statement, “The second indicator of MDG 5, ‘proportion of births attended by skilled health providers’ highlights the crucial role of midwives and others with midwifery skills in providing skilled birth attendance to achieve optimal maternal health outcomes.”

Geeta Lal, the midwifery coordinator at UNFPA, stated, “The workshop was a landmark for the Asia region, since for the first time, key UN agencies engaged in health, together with major multilateral and bilateral development partners and NGOs, came forward with a strong statement of commitment to support strengthening standards of midwifery education, ensuring skilled human resources for maternal health and jointly working towards the establishment of a professional cadre of midwives.”

Midwife advisors, national program officers, donors, and partner organizations were in attendance and discussed the importance of creating a “regional resource center for midwifery; standardize midwifery curriculum and tools based on International Confederation of Midwives competencies and standards of education; and encourage strong advocacy.”

UNFPA Statement 12/7/11; Joint Statement 11/28/11

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