This is a big week for midwives, women, and infants around the world. Once every three years, the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) holds a Congress that attracts more than 3000 international midwives. ACNM is in on the action. If you’re one of our many members in attendance, be sure to stop by our booth—stand 23—and chat with members of the ACNM Division of Global Health.
Why is the ICM Triennial Congress such a big deal? This is the first time ever that the Congress has been held in sub-Saharan Africa, which is an area of the world that has what are among the highest rates of maternal and newborn morbidity and mortality. ICM and its member midwives are capitalizing on this opportunity to bring attention to the world’s great need for midwives and take vital actions toward improving maternal and newborn health. Here’s what has happened just since last Thursday.
Essential Documents Released: On Thursday, June 16, the ICM Council (which includes ACNM delegates Holly Powell Kennedy and Melissa Avery) approved 4 new documents that help standardize the global profession of midwifery. Standardization is key to improving the quality of services women and infants receive. Get links to the international definition of a midwife, practice competencies, and global standards for education and regulation here.
Midwives Walked the Road to Durban: Saturday, June 18, midwives completed their march into Durban to draw attention to the world’s need for midwives—particularly across the continent of Africa. Sporting their ACNM-designed scarves and polo shirts, US midwives walked in solidarity with the midwives of Africa and the rest of the world. View pictures of the walk in the ICM Congress photo gallery.
State of the World’s Midwifery Report: Just today, the first comprehensive global analysis of the midwifery profession was released. The State of the World’s Midwifery 2011: Delivering Health, Saving Lives shows that the world’s women need approximately 350,000 more midwives to meet their needs for safe births and healthy lives. The report seeks to fill the gap between supply and demand by including action items for governments, midwifery education programs, midwifery associations, regulating bodies, and international organizations. The report’s Web site also includes background papers, maps, videos, and other interactive features to help you dive into the report and share its findings with your friends and colleagues.
Are you in Durban this year? What has been the highlight of the ICM Congress for you so far?