Midwifery was widely celebrated in 2008--worldwide, and in countries' own special ways: this round-up concludes the reports from ICM members or local news sources on the International Day of the Midwife, and adds news of some additional activities.

Position:International Confederation of Midwives
 
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Jamaica

The Jamaica Midwives Association took the opportunity of the International Day of the Midwife on May 5 to honour four surviving founding members of the association. At a reception in Kingston, past president Gwendolyn Omphroy-Spencer, Barbara Patterson, Ena Wanliss and Pearlyn Raglan were recognised for their significant contribution to sate motherhood in the island.

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The current President, Carmen Walker Sutherland described these midwives as having 'made an indelible mark on a profession, which is very important to Jamaica'. They had worked towards achieving Millennium Development Goal #5, which requires countries to reduce the maternal mortality ratio by 75% (at present, Jamaica has 95 deaths per 100,000 live births).

The Mayor of Kingston, Councillor Desmond McKenzie, was the guest speaker at the tribute, which was attended by about 80 people.

The Jamaica Midwives Association was formed on June 30, 1960, at the Victoria Jubilee Hospital and presently has some 300 members.

Jamaica Information Service www.jis.gov.jm 6 May 2008.

Malta

In its message to the public on the International Day of the Midwife, the Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses (MUMN) said that midwifery care for women and their babies is an investment in family and community that promotes healthy growth and well-being for both present and future generations.

The MUMN's statement went on to emphasise that the role of midwives is far more than being hospital based, and suggested that midwifery practice should be based in primary health care. "Midwifery care is unique in ... giving new parents the physical well-being, confidence and self-esteem that arise from a positive birth experience, through breastfeeding support and nutritional education, through assistance with family planning and spacing, and through encouragement of women's knowledge of their own bodies," the MUMN further said.

Maltese news website www.di-ve.com 5 May 2008.

New Zealand

Members of the New Zealand College of Midwives marked the International Day with diverse local activities:

Members gathered at the Ata Rangi Unit in Hastings for afternoon tea, where midwives and support staff celebrated their complementary roles together.

In Auckland, the 5 May opening of the new home to Auckland Region's NZCOM rooms and Midwifery Resource Centre was blessed with brilliant sunshine! He Kamata Oranga's moving powhiri was followed by a speech from Steve Chadwick...

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