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March 2013 Marking International Day of Midwives in Yemen

8th March 2013- With support of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the Yemeni Midwives Association celebrated the International Day of Midwives.

Dr Najeeba AL-Shawafi, Deputy Minister of Public Health and Population -Population Sector- attended the event in which she congratulated all the midwives in Yemen and highlighted their important role in society and their contribution to reduce maternal and child mortality. Dr.AL-Shawafi stated that the infant mortality rate in Yemen declined over the past years to 69 cases per live birth, but for the newborn is still a high percentage.

The deputy minister stressed that there is a need to give maternal health more attention from all sides pointing out that the Ministry of Health in this regard has been focusing on emergency obstetric services in attempt to reduce maternal mortality rate.

Dr. Najeeba disclosed that the ministry is seeking to make recommendations for the cabinet to pay more attention to employ midwives as Yemen urgently need them.

Ms. Eiko Narita, UNFPA Representative Deputy, who attended the ceremony praised the crucial role of midwives in the community to save mothers and babies and how skilled midwives, with the equipment and support they need, can make a difference between life and death for close to 300,000 women each year in the world, and ten times that many infants.

During the ceremony, a brief overview was shared with the audience about establishing house-based clinics for midwives in order to facilitate women's access to care before and after birth in AL-Jawf governorate.

The celebration was attended by WHO, USAID, other international NGOs, parliament members, and media.