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Joint message of Faris Hadrović, Assistant Representative of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and Sejda Džino, Chairperson of Association of Midwives (AM) of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Each year, globally, hundreds of thousands of women die and three million newborns do not survive the first week of life because they lack access to maternity health services and skilled midwifery care. For every tragic maternal death, another 20 women face serious or long-lasting illness or disabilities such as obstetric fistula.

On the International Day of the Midwife, UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund is calling on the governments to urgently address the shortage of 350,000 midwives worldwide, while the BiH Association of Midwives and UNFPA BiH are calling on the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina to support the country’s midwives in getting opportunities for further education through tertiary academic institutions.

UNFPA’s Faris Hadrovic says: “Increased investment is needed to enhance midwifery skills and life saving services and to make midwives a priority within health programmes, policies and budgets in Bosnia and Herzegovina.”

The AM’s Sejda Džino said: “Providing an opportunity for the midwives to develop their skills through tertiary education is crucial, as the skilled midwives are urgently needed in all the communities throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina.”

The UNFPA and AM point out that midwives can prevent up to 90 per cent of maternal deaths where they are authorized to practice their competencies and play a full role during pregnancy, childbirth and after birth. They have a critical role in providing family planning, counselling, and preventing HIV transmission from mother to child, as well as in prevention of cervical cancer, one of the lead malignant causes of death of women in Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

As the world gears up for the 10-year review of the Millennium Development Goals, both organizations will be campaigning to increase funding for goals 4, 5 and 6 to reduce child mortality, improve maternal health and combat HIV and AIDS.

On the International Day of the Midwife, the AM and UNFPA confirm our commitment to work together to improve the education, regulation, status and working conditions of midwives in communities. We do so in celebration of quality midwifery worldwide and in recognition that the world needs midwives now more than ever to protect the lives of women and babies.