There is no question we’re big proponents of midwifery at Jacaranda Health. Our model of care relies upon strong human resources. We are deeply invested in enhancing our nurses’ skills and performance as well as setting a new standard for nursing care in Kenya, which involves midwifery training. This is why we wanted to pull from the new Lancet series on midwifery some of the most exciting ways midwives can save lives, globally:
- Midwifery care provided by midwives is cost-effective, affordable, and sustainable. According to the Lancet, “the return on investment from the education and deployment of community-based midwives is similar to the cost per death averted for vaccinations.” Midwives can be the vaccines against poor quality care for women and newborns!
- Midwifery is not just about the skilled, compassionate care provided during childbirth (although that is important). Trained midwives can provide a whole range of care (including family planning and other reproductive health services) for women and “newborn infants, and families across the continuum throughout pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and the early weeks of life.”
- Although pregnancy and childbirth related risks vary depending upon countries and settings, all have at least one need in common: to implement “effective, sustainable, and affordable improvements in the quality of care.” What does this mean? The Lancet series research says that midwifery care has an “essential” contribution to make to high-quality care for women and newborns. When midwives work effectively with other medical and public health colleagues, research shows that the number of women and newborns who die rapidly decrease.
- When women and communities are involved in the decision making to improve midwifery services in the region, and when midwifery services are valued and respected and integrated into a functioning health system, it leads to better health outcomes for women and newborns.
- In low- and middle-income countries—particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, where childbirth and pregnancy are more dangerous propositions, the number of pregnancies and births per year will continue to rise while the number of health workers is projected to be at a deficit. Increasing the number of skilled, educated midwives while also implementing important midwifery principals like woman-centered care, tailored care to women’s social and cultural needs, and normalizing processes of reproduction can all contribute to saving lives for many years to come, in some of the most dangerous regions of the world for pregnant and birthing women.
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