The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared 2020 “The Year of the Nurse and the Midwife” (YNM) in an international effort to draw attention to the growing need for the health professionals “who devote their lives to caring for mothers and children, giving lifesaving immunizations and health advice, looking after older people and generally meeting everyday essential health needs.”
WHO, which directs and coordinates international health within the United Nations system, is calling upon healthcare organizations and institutions to join its yearlong campaign. In response, the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) and its affiliate, the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME), have announced 14 activities for 2020 YNM, including reaching out to high school students, celebrating the role of male nurse-midwives and developing initiatives to increase diversity and address maternal health inequities.
In its 2019 Midwifery Education Trends Report, ACNM/ACME points out that U.S. maternal mortality rates are higher than in many other developed countries and have been rising. From 1991 to 2014, the U.S. mortality rate more than doubled from 10.3 per 100,00 live births to 23.8.