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The Essential Role Of Midwives

Mary Ellen Stanton, a senior maternal health advisor at USAID, and Chris Thomas, global health communications and policy advisor at USAID, outline the agency’s work to promote better health outcomes for women and children in the developing world on GlobalPost’s “Global Pulse” blog.

“One key to a healthy delivery is ensuring skilled attendance at birth. USAID has long been a supporter of midwives as professional frontline health care providers. USAID trains and equips skilled midwives to provide quality care to women in labor and delivery, manage obstetric emergencies, and prepare community health workers who then educate mothers on preparing for birth and proper infant care,” they write, noting results from programs in Afghanistan and Guatemala.

“Despite progress, maternal mortality is still unacceptably high. We must continue to seize the momentum and enhance family planning and maternal health programs to quickly reduce the high toll of preventable maternal deaths, while also improving economic conditions, educating girls, and empowering women so they can plan their families and get the life-saving care they need during pregnancy and birth,” they conclude (7/1).