Accelerating effective coverage of midwifery services in low- and middle-income countries.
The Instituto de Cooperación Social Integrare (ICS Integrare) was awarded a two-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to accelerate the effective coverage of midwifery services in low- and middle-income countries and inform the post-2015 development agenda for health. The International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) will receive a sub grant from ICS Integrare as part of this initiative.
An internationally agreed post-2015 development agenda is to be launched at the UN General Assembly in September 2015. It will potentially include a specific focus on the rights of women and girls that builds upon the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) (Cairo, 1994), the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995) , and the success and lessons of the Millennium Development Goals. In the health sector there is continuing momentum for an emphasis on the need to ensure universal access to quality sexual, reproductive, maternal and newborn health services as part of broader efforts to renew commitments to primary health care and achieve universal health coverage and thus accelerate reductions in maternal, early-neonatal and neonatal mortality and morbidity.
This two-year grant from the Gates Foundation will strengthen the collaboration between ICS Integrare and the ICM in the development of global public assets to accelerate the effective coverage (the availability, accessibility, acceptability and quality) of reproductive, maternal and newborn health services in resource-poor settings. New evidence and tools will be available in 2014, including The Lancet Series on Midwifery (Spring 2014), The State of the World’s Midwifery 2014 (June 2014), and a Midwifery Services Framework tool to help guide countries on evidence-informed policy and programming. These public assets will spur action on the critical role of midwives in the delivery of integrated services for family planning, maternal and newborn health and provide governments with the tools to improve midwifery services. New evidence will inform the review of the Beijing Declaration (“Beijing+20”) on women’s access to health services, the foundation’s ‘strategy for reducing maternal and newborn deaths by 2015 and beyond’ and the post-2015 development agenda.
"The post-2015 ambition for an inclusive, people-centred development agenda must ensure the attainment of the rights of women and girls. It must be a shared aspiration of the global community and ICS Integrare is committed to support this” says Jim Campbell, Director, ICS Integrare
“ICM’s core purpose is to support and strengthen its member associations and to bring the voice of midwives and midwifery to the global health arena. This grant from the Gates Foundation will support midwives’ associations within countries and inform the international development agenda on the critical role of midwives in the delivery of integrated services” says Frances Day-Stirk, President, ICM.
“Many countries are actively pursuing solutions that will ensure that all women, families and communities have access to quality midwifery care. ICS Integrare combines research and technical assistance in the three key areas that make that possible – a functioning health system, its health workforce and people-centred reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health services” explains Petra ten Hoope-Bender, RMNCH Director, ICS Integrare.
“When midwives’ associations are engaged with the national health development partners in making evidence-based decisions for quality maternity care, they are actively contributing to reducing maternal and newborn death and promoting their profession.” says Frances Ganges, Chief Executive, ICM.
Accelerating the effective coverage of quality midwifery services will remain a challenge beyond 2015, but enabling national and global stakeholders to develop evidence-based, integrated services that meet the needs of women and families and ensure a continuum of family planning, maternal and newborn care is a step towards this.
About the partners:
The Instituto de Cooperación Social Integrare (ICS Integrare) is a not-for-profit research institute working to reduce social inequalities and inequities that affect health, education and prosperity, with a particular emphasis on gender, marginalized populations and those living in poverty. http://www.integrare.es
The International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) supports, represents and works to strengthen professional associations of midwives throughout the world. There are currently 108 national Midwives Associations, representing 95 countries across every continent. http://www.internationalmidwives.org
For further information:
Frances Ganges, Chief Executive, ICM
Tel: +31 (0) 70 306 0520
The Hague, 20. December 2013