With 2021's theme of 'Follow the Data: Invest in Midwives', it's hard to ignore the lack of support given to midwives this International Day of the Midwife.
Every year, we celebrate the hard work and contribution of midwives globally on the 5th of May. International Day of the Midwife is a day for the world to acknowledge the care given by midwives and the improvement to maternal, newborn, child and adolescent, sexual and reproductive health as a result.
This year, we're also being called to recognise the damaging impact that underfunding has on the health of women, infants and children globally.
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that "while midwives could provide up to 90% of essential sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn, and adolescent health care across the lifespan, there is a need-based shortage of 900,000 midwives globally."
By investing in the education and employment of midwives, preventable deaths during and after childbirth can be reduced, and care across the child's lifespan can be improved.
Over this past year especially, the bravery and commitment of midwives has been apparent. Midwives, support workers and students risked their lives by continuing to provide care to families across the world in the midst of a global pandemic.
It is time to recognise this work, and advocate for the investment into clearly essential services provided by Midwives.