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May 1, 2013 - Kabul: The Afghan Midwives Association (AMA) celebrated ‘International Day of Midwife'. The event was financially supported by CORDAID and co-hosted by Ministry of Public Health. This event was held on May 1, 2013 at 9:00 am in the auditorium of Ministry of Public Health.

The world's midwives mark International Day of the Midwife on 5 May, IDM was established to raise awareness of the role of midwives in countries worldwide. Every year International Confederation of Midwives announces specific theme for the IDM and this year year's theme is ‘The World Needs Midwives Now More than Ever!

The Afghan Midwives Association (AMA) was formed in 2005 with only 80 members to support the growing number of midwives and to champion the profession through advocacy and education. In 2006, AMA became the member of International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) and today AMA is one of the largest associations in Afghanistan comprised of over 3,000 professional midwives and student members from its 34 provincial chapters.

The event was inaugurated with a welcome note and call to action by Afghan Midwives Association's President "AMA is dedicated to ensure that no women or child die from pregnancy related complications trough increasing awareness among families for being in touch with midwives and recognize the value of midwifery services. Against every odd, the AMA will never give up to ensure that communities in every corner of Afghanistan, even the most remote districts, feel safe knowing that a midwife will be there to care for their pregnant mothers" Said Ms. Sabera Turkmani.

The day was presided by Her Excellency Minister of Public Health, Dr. Suraya Dalil. She acknowledged midwives contribution for the health systems of Afghanistan especially towards maternal and neonatal health.

Ms. Pashtoon Azfar, ICM Representative stressed "Every year over 287,000 women and over 3 million infants around the world die as a result of preventable pregnancy and childbirth complications. 80% of maternal deaths are due to 5 direct causes: hemorrhage, sepsis, unsafe abortion, obstructed labor and hypertensive disease of Pregnancy. Most of these deaths would be prevented if there were enough qualified and adequately resourced midwives"

Dr Laurent Zessler, UNFPA Representative in Afghanistan said " Increased investment is needed to provide midwifery skills and lifesaving services and to make midwives a priority within health programmes, policies and budgets. Direct investment in midwifery education, regulation and association will create the necessary conditions for the midwifery profession to achieve its full potential"

More than 200 midwives across the country and dozens of key stakeholders including government partners, international supporter such as CORDAID, USAID, UN agencies and many others joined AMA, reinforcing the national and international commitment to reducing maternal and child mortality and morbidity and improving the health status of women and their families by strengthening the role of the Midwife in Afghanistan.



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