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The State of the World’s Midwifery 2011: Delivering Health, Saving Lives presents a body of knowledge to inform and accelerate the availability of quality midwifery services for women and newborns. It aims to make a valuable contribution both to strengthening the midwifery workforce around the world and to the critical planning that is needed to achieve the health Millennium Development Goals. The first ever State of the World’s Midwifery is focused on 58 countries with high rates of maternal, foetal and newborn mortality. Its content has been largely informed by responses to a detailed survey that was developed to collect new or updated data and information in six areas: the number and types of practising midwifery personnel, education, regulation, professional association, policies and external development assistance.