Midwifery should go international

Sorry I haven’t been blogging much this week — I am writing other things elsewhere, though, like this summary of a conversation with UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson. He gives a nice shout-out to midwives at the end, and is inspiring me to organize some sort of Midwives Without Borders group to send midwives to developing nations, and also train local women in midwifery to provide support for birthing women. Eliasson also talked about Syria policy, and the benefits of a political solution over a military one (which I am sure many readers here, including myself, aren’t entirely sure about). And while you’re over there, check out the other great pieces that UN Dispatch has on offer.

8 comments for “Midwifery should go international

  1. Sid
    October 5, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    I have no idea what he means by a “political” solution in practice. Assad has shown no desire whatsoever to talk to anyone, rebels, Arab League, UN etc.

  2. Omar
    October 5, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    Any kind of organization that has Iran and Syria in their so-called “Human Rights Council” cannot be taken seriously. A new governing body is sorely needed, and one that makes its decisions on helping Syrian civilians over, lets say, the mood of Vladimir Putin.

    • doberman
      October 5, 2012 at 4:17 pm

      Amen to this.

  3. samanthab
    October 5, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    My mom’s an ob-gyn, and since 1975 she’s worked with midwives who’ve worked around the world. Midwifery is already international, although I couldn’t tell you under what umbrellas they’ve done their work. Obviously a Midwives Without Borders would make a lot of sense, but I’m not sure why he’s discounting the work midwives have done for decades now- if not more.

    I suppose it depends on how you define “go international.” Maybe he means that they should respond to specific crises a la Doctors Without Borders? Dunno, but midwives have certainly been working internationally, and that does include training other women in midwifery, for a long time. They are cool ladies!

    • October 5, 2012 at 2:41 pm

      Yeah, I don’t think he meant to discount the fact that there are already midwives all around the world. I think he meant that he would like to see a coordinated international effort to send midwives everywhere they’re needed.

  4. June
    October 5, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    Have a look at the Hamlin college of midwives in Addis Ababa – I think they have a good model of training women from rural communities to be midwives. After their four year training is complete they return to their community, where they practice with not only their new skills and knowledge, but as women familiar with the local language, community, and customs.


  5. Really?
    October 7, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    It happens all the time. As part of your midwifery training in the UK, you can do electives abroad. I have a few friends who went to Malawi.

  6. Angie unduplicated
    October 9, 2012 at 10:20 am


    World Health Organization’s survey on what countries allow midwives to perform first-trimester abortions. A bit dated, but informative

Comments are closed.