According to the World Health Organization, two-thirds of maternal and newborn deaths in the developing world are preventable, but barriers such as the number of health care practitioners, remoteness, poor nutrition and poverty impede access to proven, effective interventions.
A 2014 report by the United Nations Population Fund found that investments in midwifery could yield a 16-fold return. Midwives are often on the frontlines of health care in developing countries, delivering crucial patient-centred care to women and their families during childbirth and supporting families during pregnancy and after delivery.
The Aga Khan Development Network has long recognised this potential and has dedicated significant resources to training and supporting midwives in Africa and Asia. This includes establishing the Aga Khan University School of Nursing and Midwifery more than 30 years ago.
Watch this video “1 in a million: Zahida's story” to learn more about how AKDN’s support to midwives, like Zahida in northern Pakistan, has led to dramatic improvements in women’s and children’s health.