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A new study published in the Lancet Global Health1 documents the potential impact of midwives in preventing and reducing maternal and newborn mortality and stillbirths. Led by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the International Confederation of Midwives and the World Health Organization, the study is based on modelled estimates of deaths averted in 88 low- and middle- income countries that account for over 95% of global maternal and newborn deaths and stillbirths. These countries have severe health workforce shortages: they are home to 74% of the world’s population but just 46% of the world’s doctors, nurses and midwives.