Consultation: Strengthening quality midwifery education

Strengthening quality midwifery education for Universal Health Coverage 2030

Global online consultation

Have your voices heard!

  • Check out the evidence, let us know what is missing.
  • Find out what the global consultations have prioritized for action.
  • Do you think the new 7-Step Action Plan addresses the key activities needed.
  • Tell us how YOU will make this happen, and what you want others to do to help make this happen.

We ask that you help us to finalize this first working draft from which a final concise document will be developed with your feedback, by completing this global online consultation. Consultation open 27 March – 5 April 2019.



WHO, ICM, UNFPA and UNICEF have prepared a Draft Report and Action Plan for open consultation, Strengthening quality midwifery education for Universal Health Coverage 2030: A transformative approach to improving quality of care.

Midwifery education is a key solution to the challenge of providing universal and quality maternal and newborn care to meet our Sustainable Development Goals. While improving access to care is critical, ensuring good quality of care has an even greater impact in terms of lives saved.

Quality midwifery care, provided by midwives educated to international standards, reduces maternal and newborn mortality and stillbirth rates by over 80% and improves over 50 maternal and newborn health outcomes.

Where a model of midwife-led continuity of care is introduced, this reduces preterm birth by 24%. Beyond survival, quality midwifery care improves breastfeeding rates and psychosocial outcomes, and reduces the use of unnecessary interventions, in particular caesarean sections and increases access to family planning. Thus, quality midwifery education is the foundation of good quality care for women throughout their reproductive years, as well as for newborns.

There is a startling under-investment in midwifery education and training,despite the major, positive and proven impacts of midwifery care for women and children. Compelling evidence on the value of midwifery shows that quality midwifery care ensures the best outcomes for women, newborns and their families. This is because it provides the most positive birth experience for women in all settings.

Quality midwifery education includes improving the skills, knowledge and behaviours of midwives to international standards, as well as education of those in interprofessional teams including nurses, doctors and others. There is an urgent need to strengthen the quality of midwifery education and care available to all women and newborns in all countries.

Women and newborns are the most vulnerable in humanitarian and fragile settings where quality midwifery education saves lives by preparing all midwives and the interprofessional team to prepare for and respond to emergency health situations.

Quality midwifery education can be transformative for all our families, communities and societies. Midwives who are educated, trained, resourced, regulated, licensed and integrated into health systems can provide the great majority of maternal and newborn care and thus reduce the heavy pressures on health service resources.

Your feedback to the online consultation will be incorporated into the final report and Action Plan, which will be launched at the World Health Assembly in May 2019.

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