Ευτοκία, Σωματείο για την Προαγωγή του Φυσικού Τοκετού

Κοινή δήλωση WHO, UNFPA, UNICEF, ICM, ICN, FIGO and IPA

Joint statement by WHO, UNFPA, UNICEF, ICM, ICN, FIGO and IPA

13 June 2018 | WHO, UNFPA, UNICEF, ICM, ICN, FIGO and IPA have, today, published a joint statement: “Definition of skilled health personnel providing care during childbirth”. A companion background document to the 2018 statement has also been published.

The 2018 statement and background document are key tools in the process to measure progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the aims of the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health.

Why defining competent maternal and newborn health professionals is important

The ‘proportion of births delivered by skilled birth attendants’ is a key indicator for achieving SDG targets 3.1., and for improving the measurement of SDG 3.2. In order to measure this, an accurate definition of such skilled health personnel is needed. The 2018 definition and the supporting information launched today, are the first steps to informing data collection and measurement that clearly identifies which health care providers can be counted as ‘skilled health personnel providing care during childbirth’ – who are often also referred to as ‘skilled birth attendants’ or ‘SBAs’.

To define what is meant by ‘competent maternal and newborn health professionals’ aids policy-makers push for change, to help ensure that women receive high-quality health care during childbirth.

A midwife assists a mother going through labour, Vanuatu.

History

In 2004, WHO, FIGO and ICM issued a joint statement that defined skilled birth attendants and their core functions. Measuring practice at country level however, is challenged by a lack of clear guidelines, standardization of names and functions, and task shifting. In addition, many countries have found that there is a large gap between the defined standards and the skill set/competence of existing birth attendants who are able to correctly manage common obstetric and neonatal complications.

Development process

WHO, UNFPA and UNICEF set up a taskforce to update the definition skilled birth attendance in consultation with the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), the International Council of Nurses (ICN), and the International Pediatric Association (IPA).

The background document to the 2018 joint statement underwent wide stakeholder consultation including the WHO Member States conducted by the Department of Reproductive Health and Research. Feedback was reviewed and is reflected in the joint statement and the background document. This document will help to provide guidance for the development and implementation of policies on education, training and regulation of skilled health personnel providing delivery care, as well as quality of care, enabling factors, and monitoring and impact of measurement.

It sets out clear competencies expected of the skilled health personnel and the elements that are critical for an enabling environment required to provide high quality maternal and newborn care in the context of ‘normal’ pregnancies (those without complications), childbirth and the immediate postnatal period, as well as those requiring additional attention and referral due to complications or emergency situations.