The State of the World’s Midwifery 2021
Fully investing in midwives by 2035 would avert roughly two-thirds of maternal, newborn deaths and stillbirths, saving 4.3 million lives per year. Millions of lives of women and newborns are lost, and millions more experience ill health or injury, because the needs of pregnant women and skills of midwives are not recognized or prioritized. The world is currently facing a shortage of 900 000 midwives, which represents a third of the required global midwifery workforce. The COVID-19 crisis has only exacerbated these problems, with the health needs of women and newborns being overshadowed, midwifery services being disrupted and midwives being deployed to other health services. These are some of the key takeaways from the 2021 State of World’s Midwifery report by UNFPA (the UN sexual and reproductive health agency), WHO (World Health Organization), International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) and partners, which evaluates the midwifery workforce and related health resources in 194 countries.