“Every day, millions of midwives globally are determined to provide sexual and reproductive healthcare to women.”
We find them in hospitals, in maternity clinics, in homes. Being a midwife means supporting a woman through every step of her reproductive life, whether that is assisting her through the birth of a child, supporting her to end a pregnancy, or providing life-saving care following an unsafe abortion. With a breadth of knowledge and skills, midwives play a vital role in ensuring women can exercise their sexual and reproductive rights.
Across our programmes, midwives are crucial to our work to reach vulnerable populations in remote communities where access to health services can be restricted.
In Senegal, Dias has been working with MSI since 2014. A qualified midwife, she knows how important access to contraceptive choice is.
“The assistance we give, it can change people’s lives.”
During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the role of midwives has been more important than ever. When lockdowns forced women to stay at home or left them isolated in remote communities, many have been struggling to reach essential health services, including contraceptives, safe abortion and post-abortion care services.
Going where no one else goes
Working in remote areas of the country, people often need to walk far to access services, something that for many became impossible during the nationally imposed lockdown due to COVID-19. “I am still providing services, but they are limited. People often need to walk far to reach me and the lockdown has meant they are unable to get here.”
Despite the challenges, Tika remained determined to do whatever she could to serve the women in her community. When we spoke to her she had walked four hours to deliver contraception to a woman who had asked her to come over. “No pandemic should prevent women from accessing sexual and reproductive health services.”
Midwives around the world continue to play a vital role in ensuring women can continue to exercise their reproductive rights and choice throughout the crisis and beyond. Help them continue to provide life-saving services to women who need them – wherever they are.