In observation of International Midwives Day 2018, Minister within Public Health Ministry, Dr Karen Cummings reminded the health professionals of their crucial role in saving lives.“Midwives save lives! You play a critical role in the reduction of maternal and infant mortality. According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) well-trained midwives help to avert 90 per cent of infant mortality globally,” Minister Cummings explained.The Minister was addressing a gathering of midwives at a conference held recently at the Mahaica, Berbice Regional Democratic Council (RDC), to celebrate and honour the health professionals for their significant contributions in the local health sector.The theme for this year’s celebration is ‘Midwives leading the way with quality care.’ Minister Cummings said this theme is appropriate and cannot be overemphasised as it is inline with the Public Health Ministry’s vision of providing quality healthcare.She reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to improving working conditions for midwives across Guyana, highlighting that midwives are an important group of medical professionals who quietly administer competent medical services in maternal child health.She boasted that 11 hospitals in Guyana already achieved baby-friendly status and efforts are underway to have the Midwife Bill passed in the National Assembly.The Public Health Minister charged the gathering to continue to utilise their skills as midwives to make significant changes regarding maternal and infant mortality rate in Guyana.While reporting on the many successes and challenges of these professionals, Chairperson for the Midwives Association of Guyana, Tracy Gentle highlighted the importance of honouring midwives.“Your skills and dedication are evident by the record of 14,000 and more annual births delivered safely by the midwives in all 10 administrative regions. The many night shifts you spent on rough river beds to get a woman and her baby alive, the recorded number of clients utilising and accessing our sexual and reproductive health, nearly 100 per cent vaccination coverage, 100 per cent post-natal mothers not returning at the healthcare facilities with complications. These and many more achievements are worthy to be honoured,” Gentle is quoted by the Department of Public Information as saying.Other achievements highlighted include the continued education session in various areas, partnership with schools in school health programme and local and international training.The Chairman applauded the midwives for their outstanding work and called for more training opportunities to better equip them.At the end of the conference, midwives from the various regions were awarded for their exceptional performances.International Midwives Day is recognised on May 5, to highlight the work being done by these health professionals. The idea was established by the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) following the suggestions and discussions in the late 1980s which was formally launched in 1992.