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  • Writer's pictureCaterina Sullivan

Midwifery and the Global Goals

Updated: Nov 4, 2018



Yesterday, I had the honour of lecturing at University of Notre Dame in the midwifery course.

So many of the targets of the goals apply to midwifery. We spent three hours going through the 17 goals and their 169 targets, speaking about the importance of government policy in both developed and developing countries and relating it all back to midwifery. We finished off the lecture with a UN debate on the issue of population growth and population control.

Here are just some of the ways the goals apply to midwifery!

Women who live in poverty are less likely to seek professional medical support during the journey of pregnancy.

The key to a healthy pregnancy and a healthy child is good nutrition.

Goal 3 includes targets around maternal mortality rates, access to sexual and reproductive health rights, mental health and communicable diseases – all of which relate to reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health.

Girls are more likely to be victims of gender genocide than boys at birth.

Goal 6 requires access to safe, unpolluted water and adequate sanitation measures. This is a problem in a number of developing countries around the world – but also a problem in rural and remote communities in Australia.

In many developing countries, women are tasked with ensuring the preparation of food. For some communities, cooking means using an indoor stove, which produces byproducts which are harmful to unborn babies while they are still in the womb.

It is important for women to have job flexibility with maternity leave to ensure they are able to give the amount of time necessary to ensure they have a healthy baby.

Hospitals need to built sustainably with population growth projections in mind to ensure they are able to be used into the future. They need to include access to the latest and most hygienic technologies in order to ensure medical professionals are able to do the best job possible.

There are many cultural sensitivities around childbirth, which medical professionals must be aware of and accomodate where possible.

Goal 11 includes targets around air pollution, green open spaces for women and children and access to affordable and safe housing, all which impact child health.

Goal 12 also includes targets around responsible waste management, which impacts the health of our children.

Urgent action must be taken for climate to ensure we have a sustainable and habitable planet on which our children can live.

Mercury poisoning is a huge health concern for pregnant women and a lot of human activities have led to an increase of mercury in the air, water and soil.

Goal 15 works towards climate action by ensuring there are more trees to produce oxygen.

One of the targets of Goal 16 calls for all people around the world to be provided with a birth certificate; another target calls for the end of violence against children to ensure they are safe and able to live a healthy and happy life.

Goal 17 requires everyone to work together to ensure these goals are achieved – not just for RMNCH (reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health) – but for all topics and issues associated with the Global Goals.

If you would like one of the Global Goals Australia team members to speak at one of your university lectures, contact us today!

This article was originally published on the Global Goals Australia Campaign website.

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