ABU DHABI: Midwives of the UAE’s largest maternity hospital, Corniche Hospital in Abu Dhabi, took their strides onto roads on International Midwifes’ Day to raise awareness on global inequalities in maternal care and health challenges faced by newborn babies.
Jane Abdulali, president of the Midwives Section at the Emirates Nursing Association, led the group of midwives from the Corniche Hospital to Marina Mall.
The walk, which started at 5.30pm, was the symbolic beginning of a journey that will conclude at the International Confederation of Midwives Congress in Durban in South Africa, according to the campaigners.
About 3,000 midwives will congregate at the Durban summit to share their experiences on the most effective methods to reduce maternal mortality and improve the quality of care and support available to mothers and newborns around the world.
Lynda Mikalauskas, chief clinical officer at the Corniche Hospital, said that occasion is observed to create awareness on reducing inequality through greater access to expert midwife care, particularly in developing countries where 90 per cent of maternal deaths occur.
“More than 340,000 women die in childbirth of preventable causes each year around the world, with millions more suffering infection and disability,” she pointed out.
“We want to demonstrate our commitment to tackling maternal and newborn mortality by walking shoulder to shoulder with midwives and mothers around the world. While inequalities are a global issue, we wanted to raise awareness of local challenges,” elaborated Mikalauskas.
“Right here in the UAE, the quality of maternal and newborn care is being affected due to the lack of sufficient midwives. We want to see mothers and babies getting the support they need through increased global and local commitment to midwifery services,” she noted.
“There are serious shortages of midwives in the UAE and around the world. More strategies should have to be developed towards a sustainable maternity workforce in Abu Dhabi to ensure that all the midwife services is provided to all needed mothers and newborns,” she added.
The first midwifery-training programme of Abu Dhabi was unveiled last year aimed at training the UAE nationals by offering them post-graduate certifications.
Access to essential midwifery services reduces maternal and infant mortality and reduces the cycle of poverty in developing countries.