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Daring to Deliver – Midwives on the Front Lines in Canada and Tanzania
October 29, 2018
Ninety-nine percent of all maternal deaths happen in developing countries, and more than 1 million children every year die on the same day they are born – mostly from preventable causes. Complications are common in the late stages of pregnancy, delivery, and the first hours after birth.
Despite grim statistics, there is light on the horizon. According to a 2014 report by the United Nations Population Fund, death is preventable in four out of five cases with the timely help of a skilled professional.
Midwives are working on the front lines to provide crucial patient-centered care to women and their families during childbirth and support families during pregnancy and after delivery. But midwives often face challenges, including limited professional training opportunities and a lack of recognition of their roles within the community.
With the right education and support, midwives are key to tackling the root causes of poverty and gender inequality.
Wendy Wood is a practicing midwife in Calgary, Alberta and teaches midwifery emergency skills and neonatal resuscitation, building on her prior experience as a paramedic. Her work has taken her around the world, training other midwives in Tanzania, Costa Rica, Peru, Ethiopia, Mexico, and Nunavik.
Having grown up with parents working in the airline industry, Tracey spent much of her childhood bouncing from one country to the next and learning to explore new cultures. Those experiences led her to study International Development and Global Studies at University of Ottawa and pursue a Master’s degree in International Conflict Resolution and Mediation at Tel Aviv University. Tracey now works at Aga Khan Foundation Canada (AKFC), managing a portfolio of projects across East and West Africa and Central Asia. She has also worked on HIV/AIDS projects in West and South Africa.