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Back 3 March 2014

Connecting Midwives

The Sanofi Espoir Foundation has announced the setting up of the platform “Connecting Midwives” with the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), thus further endorsing the foundation’s commitment with midwives to help combat maternal and newborn mortality across the world.

The collaborative platform “Connecting Midwives” is unique, it is innovative, and it will be nourished by midwives from around the world. This is a dedicated space where midwives can trade experiences and share ideas, projects and innovations.

“We would like to highlight actions set up by midwives inside their community and enhance the key role they play on a daily basis to further education and prevention, and to save lives,” emphasized Caty Forget, Managing Director at the Sanofi Espoir Foundation. “This sharing space will help enhance their professional practice and their networks, especially those midwives working in rural and often secluded areas.”

In addition to being an online forum for exchanging ideas and practices, the platform will reward chosen field initiatives run by midwives through the “Sanofi Espoir Foundation’s Awards for Midwives”. Any certified midwife and member of a midwives association within the ICM network can present their project if the aim is to reduce maternal and newborn death and improve the health of women and newborns in the most under-served areas. Ten award-winners will be announced in May 2014. Each of them will win a financial support of €3,000. The top three will have a documentary made about their project.

“Although huge progress has been made, we are still far from achieving the Millennium Development goals in the fight against maternal and newborn mortality, particularly in sub-Sahara Africa, and needs are enormous. The objective of reducing maternal mortality by 75% between the year 2000 and 2015 will sadly not be achieved,” explains Frances Day-Stirk, President of the ICM. Hence the choice of the Sanofi Espoir Foundation to allocate €2.5 million in 2013 to this health issue, by way of twelve long-term programs. The last six started in the second half of 2013 and will help to educate and train 4,200 midwives in seven developing countries (Ethiopia, Tanzania, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Myanmar, Cambodia, Mexico), and support the healthcare policies of countries where there is a dearth of qualified personnel. 

Each year, approximately 300,000 women die during pregnancy, and childbirth. The risk of death for African women is 100 times higher than for women in high-income countries. Almost 2 million newly-born children die within 24 hours of birth. Most of these deaths could be averted if women, often poor and isolated, had access to well educated, qualified, well equipped and authorized midwives in their locality.

About Sanofi Espoir Foundation
The Sanofi Espoir Corporate Foundation was created in October 2010 by Sanofi to leverage more than 15 years of commitment to international solidarity. It is dedicated to helping reduce healthcare inequalities, particularly among the world’s most needy communities, as part of its social responsibility agenda. Its actions revolve around three major objectives: controlling childhood cancer, fighting against maternal and newborn mortality, and ensuring access to healthcare for the world’s poorest populations. For more information: http://fondation-sanofi-espoir.com/en/

About the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM)
The International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) is an accredited non-governmental organization and represents midwives and midwifery to organizations worldwide to secure women’s access to high quality midwifery care before, during and after childbirth. The ICM works closely with the World Health Organization, UN agencies and governments to support healthcare strategies aimed at risk-free maternity and primary health for families across the world.

Read the full Press Release in English, Frenchand Spanish.

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