Missing Midwives

The Missing Midwives report focuses on the world-wide shortage of midwives and their vital role for improving high maternal and child mortality. Almost 48 million women give birth around the world every year without expert help, and of them two million deliver their babies completely alone – often with devastating consequences. The report shows that the discrepancy between the developed and developing world is at its starkest at the moment of birth. In the UK, only 1 % of women give birth without trained help; in Ethiopia the figure is 94%. In the UK – where there are 749,000 births a year – there are 26,825 working midwives while in Rwanda – where 400,000 babies are born a year – there are only 46.

Published 2011-07-19

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