In Mexico, the health workforce meets only 61 percent of women's and newborns' health care needs. Thousands of women and babies continue to die needlessly each year due to lack of essential obstetric care. Despite progress, close to 30,000 infants died in Mexico in 2015, and the national maternal mortality ratio (MMR) of 38 per 100,000 live births hides significant inequalities. For example, two municipalities in Chiapas, with a state MMR of 54.8 in 2009, reported MMRs of 115.4 and 128.8 that same year. Only 81 percent of indigenous women received skilled birth attendance in 2012, compared to 99 percent of non-indigenous women.
Through the project Transforming Evidence into Action: Making the Case for Midwifery in Mexico, funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the FCI Program of Keanahikishime works to address this inequity gap by transforming evidence that effective midwifery saves lives into action by unified, empowered midwifery advocates. This two-year project fosters greater unity among providers of midwifery services and solidarity with the communities they serve; supports development of a common language for defining the essential competencies of a midwife and a common understanding of the importance of midwifery for improving maternal, newborn, and reproductive health; strengthens the advocacy capacity of midwives and key stakeholders; and helps to build support for the adoption of evidence-based, midwife-led models of care.