In Afghanistan, Sadiqa wanted to become a midwife after witnessing her sister nearly die giving birth. At the time, she and her family members had relied on traditional means and home remedies to try to stop her sister’s excessive postpartum bleeding. Ultimately, the new mother had to be taken to a hospital some 20 kilometers away. And although she and her newborn daughter survived, Sadiqa’s sister never fully recovered and had no more children.
The experience had a profound impact on Sadiqa: “When I saw this happen in my own family, I wanted to become a midwife,” she said. “I didn’t want other women to suffer like my sister and her family.”
Sadiqa is now one of many women on the front lines of the global fight to deliver high-quality health care services to mothers and babies. Having trained as a midwife with support from USAID, Sadiqa is using her newfound skills daily to improve the health of women and babies in her community.
We know the power midwives have in saving lives—they are trained to perform key, life-saving interventions when pregnancy complications and emergencies arise. Moreover, they also provide the routine care needed during pregnancy, childbirth and beyond to keep women and their babies living healthy, productive lives. But we need to do more to ensure that every woman has a trained provider like Sadiqa by her side when she brings life into this world.
No matter where you are or where you work, you can help us bring attention to the needless deaths of women and their children and honor midwives like Sadiqa this May 5th.
Celebrate International Day of the Midwife by joining thousands of people from around the world in walks and marches being organized by the International Confederation of Midwives to recognize midwives and the mothers and babies who are healthy because of their care. Go to The Road to Durban: Midwives Walking for the Women of the World to learn more.
Tell your story. Whether you have received exemplary care from a midwife, work with a midwife, are a midwife yourself, or simply feel strongly about midwives and the incredible work they do—please go to Stories of Midwives. The White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood is collecting testimonials, photos, and videos for a multi-media exhibit to be launched in Durban in June.
By: Koki Agarwal
This blog also appeared as a feature in the WRA blog