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The International Day of the Midwife was colorfully commemorated at an event held on May 13. The event was celebrated under the theme “Women and Newborns: The Heart of Midwifery.”

Delivering remarks on the occasion, Mr. Victor Rakoto, UNFPA Deputy Country Representative, said that “well-trained and supported midwives working in communities are uniquely positioned to provide the compassionate, respectful and culturally sensitive care a woman needs during pregnancy and childbirth.” He added significant investments in midwifery were essential if Ethiopia is to achieve the ambitious goal of reducing maternal and newborn deaths.

Sister Yezabensh Kibie, President of the Ethiopian Midwives, said on the occasion that investing in midwives was one of the key interventions identified in the five year Health Sector Transformation Plan of Ethiopia.

The occasion saw the hand-over of the Midwives 4 All Award of the Swedish Government to Sister Yewbdar Lisanework – the Ethiopian midwife who was recognized with the award for 2016. She received the award from the hand of H.E. Jan Sadek, Ambassador of Sweden to Ethiopia. The Midwives 4 All is an initiative aiming at spreading knowledge about the benefits of midwifery and midwives. The Swedish Ambassador said at the event that Sweden has taken lead since 2006 in promoting midwifery in the development agenda and the Midwives 4 All is part of that. This is the second year of the Midwives 4 All award and the first one was won by a midwife from Uganda last year.

The commemoration of the International Day of the Midwife which is organized by the Ethiopian Midwives Association was attended by different stakeholders and midwives who gathered from around the country.