In honor of World Prematurity Day, today we’re following the story of one woman’s journey to have a safe pregnancy to deliver a healthy full-term baby. Meet Mariam, a 23-year-old pregnant woman from Mali, a country where 84,000 babies are born too soon every year and 9,170 children under five die due to preterm complications according to the latest country data on world prematurity. This is part three of a four-part series. Follow the whole series here.
When Mariam arrives at her clinic, she’s greeted by Aminata, a midwife who will care for her during her childbirth and work together with her for a safe delivery. Aminata sees hopeful but worried women like Mariam every day. As Aminata examines Mariam, she assesses how far along Mariam is and looks for signs of premature birth. Midwives like Aminata are often the first line of care in clinics and health facilities around the world. A skilled midwife can prevent two-thirds of all maternal and newborn deaths and has a chance to create a major impact in a country like Mali where there are only 4.1 doctors, nurses or midwives to every 10,000 citizens.
A trained global health workforce is a key pillar of preterm birth prevention and improved newborn health outcomes. Johnson & Johnson and partners including the American Academy of Pediatrics, Jhpiego and the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) are training thousands of midwives every year in life-saving skills so mothers like Mariam have the care they need. Partners like ICM support, represent and work to strengthen professional associations of midwives worldwide and ensure they have the tools and knowledge needed to secure health for mothers and their newborns. The American Academy of Pediatrics’ Helping Babies Survive (HBS) trains health care providers in low resource settings to ensure babies are healthy — and remain healthy — from the moment of birth to the day they are discharged from the health facility, and beyond.
With Aminata’s care, Mariam safely delivers a healthy baby girl, Hawa, at 37 weeks.
RESOURCES TO LEARN MORE:
- Midwifery Services Framework
- ICM Global Standards, Competencies and Tools
- Making the Case for Midwifery
- Why Skilled Birth Attendants matter
- Watch how Jphiego’s Safe Childbirth Check List saves lives