Midwives provide care for women without access to hospitals during disasters
| 02.07.2008 | 13:52:39 | Views: 4149 | ID:
February 7 '08: In the Kansas City Star Deborah Smithey, the President of the Missouri Midwives Association said that communities should incorporate midwives into local emergency response plans because of their specific training "in homes and out-of-hospital settings."
Smithey said, "Many midwives serve the Amish and Mennonite communities, and are accustomed to working without electricity or other modern conveniences. ... Yet their statistics are as good or better than those of doctors working in hospitals with the same-risk population."Currently, midwives are not incorporated into Missouri's emergency response plans however Smithey has urged state lawmakers to do so saying, "There are approximately 14,000 CPMs (Certified Professional Midwives) in the United States. Experienced, community-based certified professional midwives are scattered across the state of Missouri." In 2006, the National Working Group on Women and Infant Needs in Emergencies was formed "to ensure that the health care needs of pregnant women, new mothers, fragile newborns and infants are adequately met during and after a disaster situation." Additionally, in 2006 and 2007, the World Health Organization released a report detailing the importance midwifery and nursing play during emergency responses in poor, disaffected, remote or otherwise crippled communities. Midwives and nurses, the report found "constitute the largest group of the health professionals in most countries and already deal with clinical care, management and communications," yet are many times left out of the emergency response picture. "What if hospitals are overwhelmed by casualties, disease or infection? Many first responders are not prepared to deal with the special needs of pregnant woman and infants. Where will women give birth during the next disaster?" Smithey asked.
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