Local midwives celebrate International Day of the Midwife 2014

Local midwives are celebrating International Day of the Midwife on Monday (5 May) and are inviting the public to join them to help pregnant women in developing countries.

Broken Hill Health Service midwives are holding a fundraising barbecue/morning tea in the Town Square on Monday (5 May) from 11am-2pm to raise money to buy clean birthing kits to send to developing countries where access to this care is limited or not available.

The clean birthing kits include six basic sterile items and cost less than an average coffee to purchase. They are sent to women in developing countries where they could save the life of a mother and her newborn infant.

One woman dies from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth every two minutes. Many of these deaths occur due to women in developing countries having to give birth without the presence of a skilled birth attendant such as a midwife, and as a direct result of preventable infections acquired during childbirth.

Broken Hill Hospital Maternity Unit Manager, Mrs Elizabeth Bennett, said International Midwives Day was the perfect day for midwives and the community to come together to help pregnant women in less fortunate circumstances.

“We are pleased to celebrate International Day of the Midwife but also to have an opportunity to raise funds for the purchase, assembly and transport of clean birthing kits which hopefully will greatly benefit pregnant women in developing countries,” said Mrs Bennett.

A number of local businesses have already lent their support to the fundraising with a donation of goods or money.

The event is being held in partnership with the Birthing Kit Foundation (Australia) which is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to improving conditions for women who give birth at home in developing countries through the provision of clean birthing kits and education in how to use them.

Also on the day the Midwife of the Year and Midwifery Graduate of the Year Award for Broken Hill Health Service will be announced and celebrated. These awards are peer nominated and recognise the excellence in midwifery practice and enthusiasm and teamwork the recipients bring to the work environment. The awards will be presented at 1pm by the Director of Nursing and Midwifery, Mrs Dale Sutton.

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