The United Nation Population Fund (UNFPA) has vowed to work with governments in all countries of the world to protect midwives from Covid-19.
The UNFPA Executive Director, Dr. Natalia Kanem, made this known in a statement to mark the year 2020 International Day of the Midwife.
She noted that many midwives were dying in droves in countries hit by Covid-19 due to lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and overall lack of support.
“Midwives in many health facilities are being redeployed to respond to the virus, and this leaves women without access to life-saving, time-critical services.
“Maternal and newborn health must be prioritized as part of the overall health sector response to the pandemic.
“UNFPA applauds the work of all midwives, and we pledge to stand by them, working with national governments to protect midwives from COVID-19.
“Midwives are the backbone of maternal health systems – delivering babies and much more.
“This crisis is an opportunity for all of us to do more to support midwives’ efforts to uphold the sexual and reproductive health and rights of all women, everywhere,” the UNFPA director stressed.
The Fund called for action to recognize midwives as champions for the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls.
It also said that it was “supporting midwives on the front lines of the COVID-19 response worldwide by providing supplies and personal protective equipment; building the capacity of health systems so maternity services don’t get left behind; and ensuring that pregnant and breastfeeding women – including those under quarantine – get the care they need when they need it.”