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INMO Celebrates ‘International Day Of The Midwife’ On Thursday, May 5th, 2011

PRESS RELEASE,  Wednesday, May 4, 2011

On May 5th, Irish midwives, together with midwives all over the world will celebrate the International Day of the Midwife. Midwives and their supporters are walking to raise awareness, and funds, to tackle global inequalities in maternal and newborn health.  According to the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), over 340,000 women and over 5 million infants around the world die each year as a result of preventable pregnancy and childbirth complications.

Speaking on the eve of the International Day of the Midwife, Sally Millar, Chair of the  Midwives Section of the INMO said: “Although International Day of the Midwife is an opportunity to raise awareness of global inequalities in maternal and newborn health we must also focus on issues relevant to midwifery in Ireland.  Our first cohort of midwives from our pre registration programme qualified in September 2010 and few of them were able to find work in Ireland.  Our students from post registration midwifery training who are already qualified nurses are also finding it extremely difficult to find employment in here.  However, our birth rate in Ireland is rising and remains the highest in Europe.  Our maternity services need these new midwives in order to continue providing high quality care for women and their families and ensure that our maternity hospitals are staffed to a safe standard.  We also need to see more midwife-led maternity services established in Ireland as recommended by the KPMG report commissioned by the government in 2009.  Midwife led services are very successful, offer high quality care, are popular with women who have experienced this form of care and are very cost effective.”   

To mark the day midwife members of the INMO will begin by presenting a Charter to Mr Cathal Magee, HSE CEO following his address to delegates at the Organisation’s Annual Delegate Conference in Kilkenny on the afternoon of Thursday, May 5th.  The Charter calls on the HSE to work with the INMO to strengthen midwifery services in Ireland by prioritising investment in midwifery services.

Following this presentation, at approximately 2.30p.m., members of the INMO, led by President, Sheila Dickson, will take part in a 5km walk commencing at Hotel Kilkenny and proceeding to Kilkenny Castle where they will be joined by midwives, mothers and babies from all over Kilkenny.

Midwives in Dublin are walking through the streets of the capital incorporating the three Dublin Maternity Hospitals - The Rotunda, The National Maternity Hospital (Holles Street) and the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital.  Bridget Lynch, President of the International Congress of Midwives is here in Ireland walking with Midwives in Dublin as part of the celebration on May 5th   and the Coombe will also host a conference with the theme “Essence of Midwifery Care.”

The walk on May 5th is the start of a journey that finishes at the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) Congress in Durban, South Africa in June 2011, a global gathering where 3,000 midwives will share evidence of what works to reduce maternal mortality and improve the care and support available to mothers and newborns around the world.  Some of the funds raised at the annual quiz at ADC will be donated to the ICM Fund to help midwives from other countries attend the Congress in Durban.

Developing and improving midwifery services across the globe is a key priority of ICM and the INMO will play an active part in realising this objective.

  More information on International Day of the Midwife here ......

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Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation (Cumann Altrai agus Ban Cabhrach na hEireann). The Whitworth Building, North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7. T:+353 1 664 0600 E:inmo@inmo.ie