With many national health systems totally overwhelmed by the COVID-19 pandemic, midwives are demonstrating courage and resilience as they support women and newborns in the toughest of circumstances, the head of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) said on Tuesday.
The world will need an additional nine million nurses and midwives to achieve the commitment of providing all people with access to health care by 2030, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned.
Libyan women are suffering from a rise in gender-based violence and a lack of trained midwives, making childbirth more hazardous.
That’s according to Georges Makram Georgi, from the UN’s Population Fund (UNFPA).
He said the problems stem from conflict and instability that’s plagued the country since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi, in 2011.
UNFPA has been working to provide advanced training to personnel to protect women in Libya and help them tackle the challenges they face.
Mr Georgi spoke to Priyanka Shankar.
Four years ago, there were only 10 qualified midwives in South Sudan, which has a population of more than 12 million.
Today, more than 300 of these skilled workers are deployed across the country, according to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA).
UNFPA Deputy Country Representative Dr Wilfred Ochan described the rise in midwives as one of the “exciting stories” coming out of the world’s youngest nation.
South Sudan attained independence in July 2011, but has seen more than two years of brutal conflict.
Improvements in an incentive payment system for midwives in India has led to healthier mums and babies.
Through the system, supported by the private sector investment arm of the World Bank, midwives receive cash payments for each baby born in a health centre.
Children delivered by trained medical staff are more likely to survive than those born at home.