Sanofi Espoir Foundation continues support for midwives

June 6th, 2014

The Sanofi Espoir Foundation reaffirmed its commitment to midwives at the Congress of the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) that took place June 1-5 in Prague (Czech Republic), which brought together nearly 3,500 midwives from around the world.

connecting midwives congress

At a roundtable organized by Sanofi on experience-sharing, public health experts from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), World Health Organization (WHO), the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and NGO partners in Burma, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Mexico underlined the importance of increasing the number of midwives, training and retention, especially in remote areas.

According to the report released June 3 in Prague by UNFPA, ICM and WHO, the 73 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America that account for the vast majority of maternal deaths, stillbirths and neonatal deaths globally have less than half of the world’s midwives, nurses and physicians. The report urges countries to invest in midwife education and training to help reduce the striking differences that currently exist. "Midwives make huge contributions to the health of mothers and newborns and the well-being of entire communities,” said UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin. “Access to quality health care is a fundamental human right. Increasing the investment in midwife practices is the best way of making this right a reality for women around the world."

The meeting also provided an opportunity for the Sanofi Espoir Foundation and its partner ICM to present the first two "Midwives for Life Awards" 2014. The two winners were Karamatou Adegnika Bangbola of Benin for her project to use a catheter in the prevention and early treatment of obstetric fistula and Jess-Alfred Nondho Ombenny of the Democratic Republic of Congo for his project to prevent and treat post-partum bleeding.

connecting midwives winners

Karamatou Adegnika Banbola and Jess Alfred Nondho Ombenny

Video on Karamatou Adegnika Bangbola’s project, winner of Midwives for Life Awards 2014