Midwives know better than anyone that good health comes first, and everything else follows. Every day, in settings from the busiest city to the last mile, midwives are fearlessly first on the front lines, providing round-the-clock care to ensure women experience pregnancy and childbirth safely, and newborns have a healthy start at life.
Their role in holding up health systems and providing care in communities cannot be understated. Well-trained midwives could avert roughly two-thirds of all maternal and newborn deaths. Yet despite the need, and the critical role they play, midwives are in short supply. Nearly half of World Health Organization Member States have less than three nursing and midwifery personnel per one thousand people, a major obstacle on the road to meeting targets set out in the Sustainable Development Goals.
At J&J, we have been proud to stand by midwives, working with partners to ensure the world’s midwives receive the training, support and resources they need to deliver care on the front lines. This June, Johnson & Johnson and partners will stand proudly alongside thousands of midwives gathering for the 31st International Confederation of Midwives Triennial Congress. Together with our partners, we will champion midwives as they develop their leadership skills and go on to foster change in their communities and drive forward solutions to improve the quality of care for all women and newborns.
We are particularly excited to reveal our newest venture. Building on our Commitment to the SDGs, at this year’s Triennial, Johnson & Johnson will launch the GenH Challenge, a social venture competition seeking novel, breakthrough solutions to address some of the biggest challenges facing our world. We know that a good idea can come from anywhere. The GenH Challenge combines the ingenuity of people on the front lines, the creativity of entrepreneurs and the Johnson & Johnson legacy of innovation to change health for humanity as we know it.
Join us. Follow the conversation on social media, and sign up for the #ICMLive newsletter, a daily newsletter recapping major events and research from the Congress. Tell us about your big idea for health by joining the GenH Challenge. And stand with us as we stand with the world’s midwives. In finding innovative ways to support midwives and midwifery, together, we can – and will – meet the SDG targets to realize the healthy world we know is possible.