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Midwives Walk For Mums And Babies

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Midwives Walk For Mums And Babies

Canterbury and West Coast midwives have this week been raising awareness and funds to tackle global inequalities in maternal and newborn health.

Canterbury Tactix assistant coach and mother of four Julie Seymour led about 30 midwives and mothers in a walk around Hagley Park yesterday to mark International Day of the Midwife.

New Zealand College of Midwife spokeswoman Janaya Anisy says New Zealanders are fortunate to have a world class maternity system with excellent outcomes for New Zealand women and their babies.

"However, globally more than 340,000 women die each year, with millions more suffering infection and disability, as a result of preventable maternal causes and the lack of a midwife to attend them," Janaya says.

Canterbury District Health Board midwife educator Tina Hewitt says the world needs midwives more than ever.

"We wanted to raise awareness of the fact that access to essential midwifery services reduces maternal and infant mortality and reduces the cycle of poverty in developing countries."

Money raised from the Canterbury walk yesterday will be donated to assist Japanese midwives who have been affected in the Fukushima Earthquake and Tsunami, Tina says.

"Japan has been selected because, while it has an excellent maternity system, services will be suffering following the quake and Christchurch people can relate on a similar level to what they must be going through."

The walk is also a lead in to the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) Congress in Durban in June, a global gathering where 3000 midwives will share evidence on reducing maternal mortality and improve the care and support available to mothers and newborns around the world.

Four members including the NZCOM chief executive, Karen Guilliland will be attending the ICM Council meeting to discuss and help find solutions to the unacceptable maternal mortality figures in the resource poor world.


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