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The State of World's Midwifery 2011: Delivering Health, Saving Lives, provides a comprehensive analysis of midwifery services and issues in countries where the needs are greatest. The report provides information and data gathered from 58 countries in all regions of the world. Zimbabwe is one of the 58 countries that provided information. The report's anlysis confirms that the world lacks some 350 000 skilled midwives; 112 000 in the neediest 38 countries surveyed to fully meet the needs of women worldwide. The full report can be accessed through the link below.

Zimbabwe’s economy, basic services and health system started to deteriorate in the 1990s, and the humanitarian situation remains critical. The lack of safe drinking water and adequate sanitation has led to cholera outbreaks and food shortages. Heavily hit by the HIV epidemic, the population growth rate is slow due to short life expectancy at birth. Use of contraceptive methods has risen, and HIV prevalence is starting to decline. However, maternal mortality has doubled since 1990, and more than half of all maternal deaths are linked to HIV. Maternal and newborn health is an essential component in Zimbabwe’s health policy. In a context of the scarcity of resources, addressing staff shortages and increasing retention are among the key priorities. Midwifery is considered a specialty of nursing rather than an autonomous profession. Understaffing in midwifery schools affects the quality of the support and supervision available to students. Midwifery associations are advocating improvements in the work environment.