Save the Children and International Confederation of Midwives Accepting Nominations for 2017 International Midwife Award

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The organizations are co-sponsoring the 2017 International Midwifery Award to recognize two midwives from high-burden countries who successfully champion improved policies and practices. Nominations are due 10 February 2017.

Midwives are the single most important cadre for preventing maternal and newborn deaths and stillbirths. Especially in poor countries, midwives provide the majority of immediate care to newborns born in facilities, often despite a lack of support or training.

Thus, the global shortage of midwives, estimated at 350,000, puts millions of women and babies at risk and is a major contributor to some grim statistics. Each year 1 million newborns die during their first day of life, 1.3 babies are stillborn, and 303,000 mothers die during pregnancy and childbirth.

With proper care around the time of birth, most of these deaths could be averted.

The International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) will highlight some of the challenges midwifery faces at the policy and facility level at its 2017 Triennial Congress ( in Toronto, Canada, this June. According to Sally Pairman, ICM chief executive, “The aim is to call attention to what is needed to ensure that all women and their babies receive high-quality, woman-centered midwifery care, wherever they may be.”

Save the Children has partnered for more than a decade with ICM to recognize midwives who have made a difference in their countries through their championship of newborn survival. The two organizations will continue this partnership by again co-sponsoring the International Midwifery Award (, which will recognize midwives from high-burden countries ( who are successfully championing improved policies for funding and training skilled birth attendants; improving training, mentoring, and supportive supervision; or making an impact at scaling up midwifery at the national or regional level.

Carolyn Miles, CEO of Save the Children US, said, “We’re delighted to be co-sponsoring these awards with ICM. The awards are an opportunity to bring international attention to the need for more, and better trained and supported, midwives,” adding that “improved policies and funding will also be needed to make that happen.”

The awards will help educate and mobilize national and global stakeholders – ministers of health and finance, parliamentarians, professional bodies, and educational and training bodies – about the importance of midwifery in maternal and newborn care and the critical need to support the midwifery profession, especially in countries where the morbidity and mortality burdens are highest.

The deadline for nominating a midwife is February 10, winners will be notified by March 1, and the award will be presented at the opening ceremony of the Congress June 18, 2017.

About ICM: Founded in 1919, The International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) is an accredited non-governmental organization that represents midwives’ associations worldwide to achieve common goals in the care of mothers and newborns. Currently, there are 130 ICM member associations in 113 countries. For more information visit

About Save the Children: Save the Children invests in childhood – every day, in times of crisis and for our future. Around the world, we give children a healthy start, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. By transforming children’s lives now, we change the course of their future and ours. For more information visit

Media Contacts

John Engels
Director of Communications
Saving Newborn Lives, Save the Children

Sawiche Wamunza
Communications Officer
International Confederation of Midwives (ICM)
+31 (0) 70 3060 520

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John Engels
Save the Children
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