This year is the Year of the Nurse and Midwife – a World Health Organisation (WHO) campaign to celebrate the work of those in these crucial professions, as well as recognising the challenges they face.
Nurses and midwives are often at the frontline in health practises. For many people accessing healthcare services, they are the first and only people that they will see.
This can be especially true for expectant mums receiving healthcare while pregnant, as well as during labour and after their baby is born. However, the work of midwives and nurses is often made more difficult by a lack of resources and funding.
The WHO is seeking to address this by highlighting their vital work, and campaigning for nine million more nurses and midwives worldwide. This is to achieve their goal of universal health coverage by 2030.
Jim Campbell, WHO Executive Director, says: “Member states all over the world recognise that the largest occupation in the [healthcare] workforce, more than 50%, are nurses and midwives.
“The year is to celebrate their roles, celebrate their contribution, to recognise and respect what they do.
“But also to take action and to really try to say that with a decade left for the sustainable development goals and agenda, we need to invest and take action.”
Leah Hazard is a practising midwife from Scotland, who has written a book, ‘Hard Pushed,’ on the realities of life in her job.
Read our interview with Leah, where she talks about the highs and lows of her profession, and what needs to be done to improve working conditions for midwives.
She also discusses the best ways to prepare for labour, and reveals what turns out to be the greatest surprise for expectant mums.
Who will look after you during pregnancy, what are the roles of a midwife and which other health professionals might you meet when you’re expecting a baby? Find out here.