Connecting Midwives

Partnership objective

Help combat maternal and newborn mortality across the world by providing a space where midwives can trade experiences and share ideas, projects and innovations.

Most cases of maternal death can be averted if women have access to well-educated and qualified midwives. Most cases of maternal death can be averted if women have access to well-educated and qualified midwives. Copyright Sanofi

What are the health needs and challenges?

Each year, approximately 300 000 women die during pregnancy, and childbirth. The risk of death for African women is 100 times higher than for women in high-income countries. Almost 2 million newly-born children die within 24 hours of birth. Most of these deaths could be  avoided if women, often poor and isolated, had access to well educated, qualified, well equipped and authorized midwives in their locality.

There is a need for 350,000 midwives worldwide.

Description of partnership activities and how they address needs and challenges

The Sanofi Espoir Foundation, together with the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), has set up a collaborative platform where midwives can trade experiences and share ideas, projects and innovations.

In addition, the Sanofi Espoir Foundation launched a call for proposals “Midwives for Life Awards” to fight against maternal and neonatal mortality in developing countries, particularly for the benefit of the poorest populations by strengthening the practice of midwives.

Any qualified midwife who belongs to a member association of the ICM can take part in this unique recognition program, provided that their project is intended to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality and improve healthcare of the neediest women and their newborns.

Summary of impact and forward looking information

These 6 first selected projects, of this call for proposals, will have trained by 2015, 4,200 midwives in the following developing countries: Senegal & Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Burma, Cambodia, and Mexico and will help strengthen the health policies of these countries. These programs will be supported for a first three-year phase and will aim at increasing the number and skills of midwives by improving training conditions, working to retain them in their jobs, and assigning them to areas where the needs are greatest. For 2013, Sanofi allocated €2.5 million to this project.

The programs will also expand opportunities for midwives to network more effectively with other health professionals and community workers in towns or whole regions, and enable all partners to share resources and expertise so as to fight more intelligently for maternal health.


Connecting Midwives

Partnership information

Company(ies) Sanofi

Partner(s) Connecting Nurses, International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), Millennia2025 Foundation WeObservatory

Type of Partner(s) NGOs

Therapeutic Focus Women and Children's Health

Disease(s) Children's Health, Family Planning, Sexual & Reproductive Health, Malnutrition, Obstetrics, Women's Health

Program Type(s) Availability of Treatment - Technology Transfer - Scientific Collaboration and Knowledge Sharing, Health System Infrastructure - mHealth, Health System Infrastructure - Training, Prevention Programs - Awareness & Outreach

Targeted Population(s) Health professionals, Mothers

Region(s) East Asia & Pacific, Latin America & Caribbean, Sub-Saharan Africa

Number of Countries 7

Country(ies) Cambodia, Côte d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Mexico, Myanmar, Senegal, Tanzania

Start Date 2014

More information Connecting Midwives

Anticipated completion date Ongoing

« My presence reassured women of the surrounding villages. They are more likely to visit the center for monitoring pregnancy and childbirth. »

Séné Ndambao Paye, a midwife of the station village health of Ndiaganio, Senegal