Celebrating Hamlin Midwives on International Day of the Midwife 2024

Midwife examining patient

The International Day of the Midwife is annually celebrated on 5 May and was established in 1992 by the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) to celebrate and raise awareness about the midwifery profession.

For the Hamlin Team, International Day of the Midwife is an opportunity to celebrate the incredible work that Hamlin Midwives do every day.

Dr Catherine Hamlin believed that every woman has a right to quality maternal healthcare. Hamlin Midwives save the lives of thousands of mothers and babies every year and prevent countless obstetric fistulas and other devastating childbirth injuries. They are the key to eradicating obstetric fistula in Ethiopia.

“To be able to train dedicated young midwives is marvellous for me.  They become enthusiastic about helping these poor women.  One day rural Ethiopia will be full of midwives giving skilled care for mothers in labour.”

Dr Catherine Hamlin 
Catherine and Midwife graduates

When a Hamlin Midwife is deployed to a rural Hamlin-supported midwifery clinics, new cases of fistula drop to almost zero.

Each week, approximately 544 babies are delivered by Hamlin Midwives at Hamlin-supported midwifery clinics. Every day, almost 107 Ethiopian women receive vital antenatal care at a Hamlin-supported midwifery clinic.

International Day of the Midwife 2024 – Midwives: A Vital Climate Solution

Each year, the International Confederation of Midwives designates a theme for the annual celebration of the world’s midwives. The theme for International Day of the Midwife 2024 is ‘Midwives: A Vital Climate Solution’.

Climate change poses unprecedented challenges to health, especially for women and babies. Midwives play a pivotal role in reducing the effects of climate change. The ICM recognises that midwives are a vital solution in adapting health systems to climate change and lowering carbon emissions overall.

Midwives deliver safe and environmentally sustainable health services and are first responders when climate disasters hit. Evidence shows that continuity of midwife care leads to optimal and safe outcomes by using fewer resources, resulting in less medical waste and a reduced ecological footprint. 

Project Zero is preventing fistula injuries

Project Zero, Hamlin’s ground-breaking program to accelerate eradication of obstetric fistula, woreda (district) by woreda, is strengthening maternal healthcare services within Ethiopia to reduce the incidence of birth injuries. The goal is to establish a midwifery clinic in every woreda (district), staffed by Hamlin Midwives.

A national education campaign is giving women the tools and knowledge they need to give birth safely.

Hamlin Midwife Mentors are providing mentoring to government midwives and Maternal Healthcare (MHC) teams. They are reviewing existing practices and making many improvements including:

  • Reorganising the clinical areas, including the creation of a ‘newborn corner’
  • Educating staff on the most up-to-date clinical care practices, eg: extending post-partum care hours with increased comprehensive checks on mothers and newborns
  • Introducing improved Infection, Prevention and Control (IPC) procedures
  • Changing to a more woman-centred model of care
  • Improving documentation and establishing robust stock management controls.

The life-saving work of Hamlin Midwives is only possible thanks to the generosity of our supporters.

From recruiting students from regional and rural Ethiopia and funding scholarships at the Hamlin College of Midwives, to stocking Hamlin-supported midwifery clinics, our supporters are helping to transform the maternal healthcare landscape in Ethiopia.

Click here to learn more about the important work of Hamlin Midwives.

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