The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has organised a conference today to celebrate the International Day of the Midwife in Edinburgh. The conference ‘Midwives for a Better Tomorrow’ has a very international focus. Speakers include: Frances Day-Stirk, president of the International Confederation of Midwives, Mary Renfrew, who led The Lancet series on midwifery, and Frances McConville from the World Health Organization. The conference also reported on the RCM Global Midwifery Twinning Project, which was funded by THET and included three low-income countries: Nepal, Cambodia & Uganda. In attandance was BU Visiting Faculty (and Poole midwife) Ms. Jillian Ireland, who was one of the volunteers who went out to Nepal.
This year’s International Day of the Midwife conference co-incides with the centenary of the 1915 Midwives (Scotland) Act. This celebration reminds us of the importance to have government recognition and regulation for the profession of midwifery. The latter is still lacking in many low-income countries, such as Nepal. There is a large body of evidence which supports that skilled midwifery care has the potential to significantly reduce maternal and child mortality and increase wellbeing.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen