The Royal College of Midwives deputy general secretary described yesterday's [11 July] London Summit on Family Planning as, "a historic event and a transformative initiative that will dramatically impact the lives of 120 million women".

Louise Silverton added: "We congratulate the UK Government and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in partnership with UNFPA, national governments, and various partners on holding the first London Summit on Family Planning. We support the summit's goals of promoting delaying the age of marriage, improving access to contraception, enabling family spacing and stopping having children when the desired family size has been reached. These goals are all very important to reduce maternal mortality and improve health and well-being for newborns.

"The work of the summit will improve and enhance the United Nations Millennium Development Goals Four and Five, which address reducing child mortality and maternal mortality and improving maternal health by 2015. We believe the summit will empower and promote the rights of women in developing countries to access midwife-led care and a long-term strategy for good maternal health."

In a related development, in May 2012, The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) secured British Government support for a major three-year midwifery twinning project to strengthen midwifery associations and improve midwifery services in Nepal, Cambodia and Uganda, countries selected because they have high rates of maternal and perinatal deaths.

Speaking on the latest expansion, Ms Silverton said: "This funding and international project will strengthen both the RCM and our global sister midwifery associations and give UK midwives the opportunity to give something back to international midwifery and help women and babies in Nepal, Cambodia and Uganda."

Posted 12/07/2012 by penny.hosie@pavpub.com