The International Day of the Midwife has been celebrated in Bangladesh as elsewhere in the world. May 5 is the International Day of the Midwife. In Bangladesh, the Directorate General of Nursing and Midwifery (DGNM) and the Bangladesh Nursing and Midwifery Council (BNMC) celebrated the day together with the “International Nurses Day” on Sunday.
Midwives improve the quality of care around the time of birth and have been identified as the “most impactful” strategy for reducing stillbirths, maternal, and neonatal deaths.
About 7,000 newborns die each day globally, or about 2.6 million per year. Midwives can prevent two-thirds of all newborn deaths.
The objective of Sunday’s event was to recognise the great importance of nurses and midwives together in the healthcare system and to celebrate the remarkable impact these two professions have made in recent years in the lives of thousands of mothers and infants in Bangladesh and across the world.
Starting with a rally, State Minister for Health Murad Hasan, as chief guest, released pink and green balloons, representing midwives and nurses, respectively, to mark the inauguration of the ceremony, the UNFPA that supports midwifery profession in Bangladesh said.
The ceremony also included an experience-sharing session by nurses and midwives along with a vibrant cultural programme spearheaded by them.
The state minister praised Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for her initiative to make nurses and midwives second class gazetted officers and her continued emphasis on the need for improving their ability to provide the best health services to the people of Bangladesh.
“With the SDG targets set for 2030, we are working hard to fill up the existing gaps in both these fronts and ensure quality healthcare for all,” he said at the event.
Asa Torkelsson, UNFPA Representative, stated, “It is my firm belief that ensuring the continued emphasis on midwifery and nursing at the same time will be the key to Bangladesh achieving its SDGs on the healthcare front.”
Gabrielle Mathieu, a First Secretary of the High Commission of Canada in Bangladesh, was also present at the programme and applauded Bangladesh for the progress through the advancement of nursing and midwifery.
Director General for the Directorate General of Nursing and Midwifery Tandra Sikder, Director General for family planning Kazi Mustafa Sarwar, Registrar Bangladesh Nursing and Midwifery Council Suraiya Begum, and WHO Representative Bardan Jung Rana spoke at the event chaired by Secretary of the Health Education and Family Welfare Division GM Saleh Uddin.
The UNFPA said with the Hope Hospital and RTM International they also celebrated the Midwifery Day in Cox’s Bazar.
They work together in both Rohingya refugee camps and in the host communities, providing midwife services to women and safely delivering thousands of babies.