Midwives on the Front Lines in Canada and Tanzania: the 2018 University Seminar Series

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.

This month, our University Seminar Series will be travelling across Canada with Loveluck Mwasha, a midwife and lecturer at the Aga Khan University (AKU) School of Nursing and Midwifery in Tanzania. She was also honoured with the coveted Midwife for Life Award in 2017.

Loveluck, who has practiced midwifery for 30 years, is a staunch advocate for the midwifery profession, midwives’ improved working conditions, and improved health for mothers and new-borns in Tanzania.

She has also been a “steadfast advocate for and mentor” to midwives through her work on the board of the Tanzania Nursing and Midwifery Council and at The Aga Khan Hospital and AKU School of Nursing and Midwifery.

“My work is an opportunity to advocate for better support and training of midwives,” Loveluck said. “We work with stakeholders to help them appreciate midwives’ role in supporting women’s reproductive health.”

Register for this year’s University Seminar Series to hear Loveluck and other speakers in a city near you.

Loveluck will be joined by Wendy Wood and Alix Bacon, two Canadian midwives whose work has taken them overseas, where they joined forces with midwives in developing countries to strengthen practices and learn from each other.

For more information:

  • Read Loveluck’s blog entry on the Healthy Newborn Network here.
  • Read the Aga Khan University press release on the International Midwifery Award here.
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