"Midwives: Defenders of women’s rights" - International Day of the Midwife 2019

5 May 2019


"Midwives: Defenders of women’s rights" - International Day of the Midwife 2019 


Urgench city, Khorezm district perinatal center, 3 May 2019 – On the occasion of the International Day of the Midwife, the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Uzbekistan and United Nations Population Fund in Uzbekistan (UNFPA) join hands in celebrating the achievements of midwives and progress made towards improving maternal and neonatal care, as well as advocating for expansion of the midwives’ role in rendering quality maternal and neonatal care. The joint event gathered more than 50 leading and active midwives of Khorezm province’s maternity hospitals.


The International Day of the Midwife is celebrated on 5th May every year to recognize and promote the important role midwives play for the health of mothers, children and their families. This year is the forth official celebration in Uzbekistan. Previously, it was held in Tashkent, afterwards in Fergana and Samarkand.




The theme of this year is “Midwives: Defenders of women’s rights.”  Safe motherhood is every woman’s basic human right. Every woman deserves access to quality midwifery care during pregnancy and childbirth because no women should die giving life. And midwife is the crucial partner during all these periods. Midwives can deliver 87% of all essential sexual, reproductive, maternal and newborn health services, and when they are well-educated and supported by a functional health system, midwives can help avert over two thirds of all maternal and newborn deaths. “The World Health Organization, several United Nations agencies and other international bodies have identified midwives as the key in reducing maternal and newborn deaths and disabilities globally... Midwives save lives”, mentioned Bekhruz Yusupov, National Programme Analyst on Reproductive Health of UNFPA Uzbekistan, in his opening speech.



For more than 20 years, UNFPA is working hand-in-hand with the Ministry of Health on improving the quality of maternal healthcare with the primary focus on quality emergency obstetric care services, and midwives are critical players in this important field.


Today’s event in Urgench city focused on the role of midwives in mother & childhood healthcare services, sharing experience and discussing future plans and interventions in the field of midwifery. The event highlighted several life-saving stories of midwives and closed with awarding ceremony of the most active leading midwives from maternity hospitals of Khorezm province.



UNFPA celebrates the heroic and life-saving work that midwives do every day. Thanks to midwives, millions of women each year are able to exercise their right to sexual and reproductive health services, including voluntary family planning. These services help ensure wanted, healthy pregnancies and safe births. Midwives are good ambassadors to help achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we must value and support them leading with care.


Ultimately, recognition of the importance of high-quality midwifery services and investments in the midwives’ capacity enhancement will lead to the achievement of the National Development Strategy and SDG targets not only in health, but in all other areas since the health is the fundamental condition of all human activities.