This year’s theme is, “Follow the Data: Invest in Midwives,” with midwifery organisations from around the world calling on governments to invest more in maternity care.
Over the past year, midwives, maternity support workers and student midwives have met extraordinary circumstances and risked their lives to provide excellent care to women and their families in the UK and across the world.
Midwifery organisations are now urging the public to not only celebrate how midwifery staff and students have been there for our communities throughout the pandemic, but show up for them in calls to governments to put funding where it counts and better invest in maternity care.
Watch International Confederation of Midwives President, Franka Cadée, explain the thinking behind this year's International Day of the Midwife theme:
City’s response to the pandemic year
Many of our midwifery staff and students here at City, University of London have directly supported the NHS under COVID-19 conditions this last year and with the associated risks involved.
City’s Centre for Child and Maternal Health has also continued to conduct world class research, some of which has been adapted to accommodate the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, and also to inform the latest NICE clinical guidelines published on 20th April 2021, the first update since 2006.
The Centre leads the Implementing Midwifery-units: a Global INnovation and Evaluation (IMAGINE) programme which focuses on the potential of midwifery-led units (MUs) and services as a high-impact, cost-effective action to address key problems identified for low- and middle-income countries by global agencies such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the White Ribbon Alliance.
The Centre also collaborates closely with Midwifery Unit Network (MUNet) hosted at City, and released a position statement on how midwifery units can support the NHS during the COVID-19 crisis. MUNet continues to expand, and collaborating with the Afghani Association of Midwives to open the first Midwifery Unit in Kabul, Afghanistan.
From the 2021/2022 entry, the School of Health Sciences will be offering the new MSc in Global Maternal Health designed to develop student’s leadership skills with a particular focus on international aspects of childbirth and maternal health, including development and scaling up of midwifery to improve quality, accessibility, and safety of maternity care globally.