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Do you know a midwife who is working to make a difference for the world’s mothers and babies? Help tell her story! Send us a 300-600-word blog that includes the midwife’s name, country of work, career details, and how she or he is making a difference in the world for newborns.

Read some of the stories we received for the blog series here:

Midwives are the single most important cadre for preventing maternal and neonatal deaths and stillbirths, but the number of midwives falls far short of the need. In fact, the 2014 State of the World’s Midwifery report found that there is a global shortage of 3.5 million health workers, including 350,000 midwives, which puts millions of women and newborns at risk of death and disability.

Birth is the time when the risk of death is greatest for both babies and mothers. Globally, more than 1 million babies die during the first day of life, an additional 1.3 million stillbirths occur, and most of the 303,000 maternal deaths occur during childbirth. Nearly all of these deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. Yet most of these deaths could be averted with proven and cost-effective solutions. Access to quality universal health coverage remains a challenge for the vast majority of families around the world. In low-resource settings, midwives provide the majority of immediate care to newborns born in facilities, often despite a lack of support or training for newborn care.

Since 2005, ICM and Save the Children have collaborated to recognize midwives who have championed newborn survival in countries with the highest number of newborn deaths. With the International Midwife Award, ICM and Save the Children are recognizing the important work midwives do, in particular the difference they make for newborn survival. Past winners have come from Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Uganda, Malawi, South Africa, Nigeria and Afghanistan. Read some of their stories here:

  • 2014 recipient Sister Agnes Kasaigi, Uganda
  • 2014 recipient Pronita Rani Raha, Bangladesh
  • 2011 recipient Catherine Ojo, Nigeria
  • 2008 recipient Phoebe Lolly Mashao, South Africa,

In June 2017, Save the Children and ICM will present the International Midwife Award for the fifth time at the 2017 ICM Triennial Congress . The Congress will highlight challenges facing midwifery at the policy and facility level and the work needed to ensure that women and babies receive high-quality, women-centered midwifery care wherever they may be. The theme for the 2017 Congress is Midwives: Making a Difference in the World.

Winning the International Midwifery Award is an opportunity for two exceptional midwives to gain attention both at home and internationally to the urgent need for more – as well as better trained and supported – midwives, and for the policies and funding that will be needed to make that happen. The winners will help educate and mobilize national and global stakeholders – ministers of health and finance, parliamentarians, professional bodies, and educational and training bodies – about the importance of midwifery in maternal and newborn care and the critical need to support the midwifery profession, especially in countries where the maternal and newborn morbidity and mortality burdens are highest.

With over 50 nominations received from 18 countries, each midwife demonstrated the wealth of experience and tireless efforts they make every day to improve policies

, practices and resources for women and children. So many midwives are making a difference in the world and deserve our acknowledgment. To support the voice of midwives, HNN will launch a blog series from now until ICM 2017 to feature midwife champions for maternal and newborn health.

2017 recipient of the Save the Children and ICM International Midwife Award:

Please send all blog submissions to We will post blogs on HNN and our social media accounts with the hashtag #MidwivesVoices and #ICM2017.