International Day of the Midwife May 5th, 2011: Women walking to reduce global maternal mortality

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
29 April 2011

On May 5th, 2011, over 400 midwives across Canada will be walking with thousands of mothers and supporters to mark the International Day of the Midwife. Walks are being organized by the Canadian Association of Midwives (CAM) and local midwifery associations and practices to participate in the International Confederation of Midwives’ (ICM) Road to Durban Campaign. This campaign is calling on midwives, mothers and supporters around the world to walk five kilometers in their villages, towns and cities to raise awareness around global inequalities in maternal and newborn health and to highlight local issues in midwifery service provision. In Canada, events are taking place in every province and territory, from British Columbia to Newfoundland to Nunavut.Over 340 000 women die each year, with millions more suffering infection and disability as a result of childbirth. Canadian midwives and their supporters will be walking to urge the Canadian government to fulfill their commitment to meeting Millennium Development Goals #4 and #5 (improve maternal health and reduce child mortality) by improving access to essential midwifery care worldwide.

In Canada, midwifery has yet to be regulated and funded in all provinces and territories.

“As the national organization representing midwives and the profession of midwifery in Canada”, said Ms. Anne Wilson, CAM President, “our mission is to provide leadership and advocacy for midwifery as a regulated, publicly funded and vital part of the primary maternity care system in all provinces and territories.” Even in provinces and territories where midwifery is regulated and funded, there is a need to increase access to midwifery care.

Across the country, midwives and supporters will be walking to highlight both global and local issues in maternity care. Walks in the Yukon, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland/Labrador will highlight the pressing need to legislate and fund midwifery in these provinces and territories. In British Columbia and elsewhere, midwives will be walking to highlight the urgent need to increase midwifery services locally and globally. In Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba midwives will walk to focus attention on increasing access to birth centres.

National Capital walk: Ottawa, Ontario – May 5th, 2011

Start: 9:00am Minto Park, 10:30am to 12:00pm Parliament Hill.

In addition, walks and events are happening at these locations:

Calgary, Alberta; Edmonton, Alberta; Penticton, British Columbia; Victoria, British Columbia; Winnipeg, Manitoba; St-John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador; Sussex, New Brunswick; Fort Smith, Northwest Territories; Yellowknife, Northwest Territories; Antigonish, Nova Scotia; Cambridge, Ontario; Cobourg, Ontario; Guelph, Ontario; Hamilton/Burlington, Ontario; Kitchener/Waterloo, Ontario; London, Ontario; Muskoka, Ontario; Scarborough, Ontario; Toronto, Ontario; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; Quebec City, Quebec; Saskatoon, Saskatchewan; Whitehorse, Yukon

Supporters of midwifery, consumers, health care providers and the public across Canada are invited to join us in celebration of the International Day of the Midwife.

For more information:

Eby Heller
Project Coordinator
Canadian Association of Midwives/
Association canadienne des sages-femmes
eheller@canadianmidwives.org
514-807-3668
www.canadianmidwives.org
Facebook: Canadian Association of Midwives

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Tonia Occhionero
Executive Director/Directrice générale
Canadian Association of Midwives/
Association canadienne des sages-femmes
director@canadianmidwives.org

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