On the occasion of Mother’s Day (May 8), midwives and mothers will partake in a 5 km charity walk along the Auckland waterfront. The 300 walkers want to raise awareness for the estimated 340,000 women that die every year as a result of childbirth or from other maternal causes.
Kate Weston, NZNO professional nursing advisor, says that the support of midwives to future mothers, concerning antenatal care and labour as well as postnatal period care is critical to keep mothers and babies healthy.
Around 90% of all cases of mother’s deaths occur in developing countries. "The world needs midwives more than ever. Access to essential midwifery services reduces maternal and infant mortality, and reduces the cycle of poverty in developing countries”, says Susan Crowther, lecturer for midwifery at AUT and representative of the International Confederation of Midwives.
Crowther added that her department was conducting a number of researches as well as education programs dealing with fighting maternal mortality, especially in the countries affected the most.
After the walk, that is part of a global campaign of over 30 walks in different countries, 50 balloons will rise to the sky commemorating the 50 mothers that died in the Christchurch Earthquake earlier this year. The final walk will take place on June 18 on the occasion of the International Confederation of Midwives 29th Triennial Congress in Durban.