International Day Of The Midwife, Hand Hygiene Day Recognized On May 5

May 5 marks the International Day of the Midwife. “In 2014 the new subtheme ‘Midwives changing the world one family at a time’ sends a strong signal that midwives provide care that changes families, communities and the world by saving the lives of mothers and babies,” according to a statement from the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) (5/5). In a joint statement, UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin and ICM President Frances Day-Stirk note, “The world needs midwives now more than ever. Investments in midwives can help avert a significant number of the nearly 290,000 maternal deaths and three million newborn deaths that occur every year due to the lack of well-educated and regulated health workers and adequate facilities…” (5/5). In a statement, the WHO “recognizes the pivotal role that midwives play in the provision of quality maternal and newborn health services. However, to ensure high levels of coverage and quality care, an estimated 350,000 more midwives are still needed globally…” (5/5). In a separate statement, the WHO marks Hand Hygiene Day, also recognized on May 5 (5/2).