A Midwife Crisis

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Increased access to and training for midwives in developing countries could save millions of lives every year, according to a new report that the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) issued Monday. Improved access to professional midwives could save 3.6 million lives in 58 developing countries by 2015, the report concludes.

Some shocking figures from the report:

Each year, 358,000 women die while pregnant or giving birth, some two million newborns die within the first 24 hours of life and there are 2.6 million stillbirths, all because of inadequate or insufficient health care.

At least 350,000 additional trained midwives are needed around the world. Without more skilled midwives, 38 of the 58 countries surveyed are likely to fall short of the Millennium Development Goal of having 95 percent of births attended by skilled midwives by 2015. UNFPA also estimates that up to 90 percent of maternal deaths could be avoided if midwives were available to refer women with complications to doctors as needed. Among the countries most in need: Cameroon, Chad, Ethiopia, Guinea, Haiti, Niger, Sierra Leone, Somalia and Sudan.

More on the UNFPA report here.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

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Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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