Improving the Health of Communities

Nurses and midwives are the cornerstone of the health system. They are skilled providers of primary, emergency and community care, and are often the first contact people have with the formal health care system. Yet, there is a worldwide shortage of these critical frontline health workers, especially in South East Asia and Africa. To help meet global health targets and ensure the health of communities, Jhpiego works with ministries of health and other partners to develop nurses and midwives as practitioners, policymakers and leaders.

See the 2023 Global Call to Action and Commitment from the 5th Global Midwifery Symposium

Creating a More Positive Pregnancy Experience

Nurse-midwife Pauline Jalisi of Malawi learned to conduct ultrasounds for pregnant women at the Zingwangwa Health Center to help detect maternal and fetal complications early. With new equipment and new skills, midwives in 10 health centers in the Blantyre City area are creating a more positive pregnancy experience for the many women they care for.

Read the story.

How We Make an Impact

Nurses and midwives have the hands-on experience, practical skills, passion and knowledge needed to bring real change to the formal health care system. We work with ministries of health and other partners to reduce systemic and gender-related barriers, so nurses and midwives can lead at all levels of the health care system.

We apply innovative strategies to enable nurses and midwives to assume expanded roles in health care delivery, bringing the goal of meeting the world’s health needs evermore within reach. We also work to create a supportive environment for community health workers, who are key to delivering health services on a broad scale, and are best linked with the formal health care system through respectful dialogue with nurses and midwives.

Nurses and midwives provide important insights to community health needs, particularly when they are recruited from, and serve in, under-resourced areas. We work with governments and other partners to ensure that nurses’ and midwives’ voices are heard on behalf of the people they serve, while pushing against ingrained, overlapping clinical and gender hierarchies to promote gender equality in the workplace and beyond.

To meet global targets for health and well-being, the World Health Organization estimates an additional 10 million nurses and midwives are needed by 2030.

Our Programs

Reaching Impact, Saturation, and Epidemic Control (RISE)

The Jhpiego-led RISE project, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), works with countries to achieve a shared vision of attaining and maintaining HIV epidemic control, with stronger local partners capable of managing and achieving results through sustainable, self-reliant and resilient health systems by 2024. In 2020, RISE quickly pivoted to also address the pandemic. In Lesotho, through RISE, Jhpiego helped to transform hospitals into COVID-19 treatment centers and educated nurses working in voluntary medical male circumcision programs to manage care for patients with COVID-19.

The Challenge Initiative

The Challenge Initiative (TCI), funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health, focuses on scaling up proven family planning high-impact solutions under Tupange for Better Cities. Through TCI, Jhpiego identified more than 300 family planning nurse champions in Uganda. These trained providers are bridging a service gap created by increased demand for family planning services and making contraceptive methods more accessible in communities.

Midwifery Initiative Strengthening in India

Under this Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-funded initiative, Jhpiego is providing technical assistance to the Government of India to establish nurse practitioners in midwifery and midwifery-led care units to transform maternal and newborn health care in India through provision of knowledgeable, skilled, compassionate and woman-centered care.

Breaking Tradition: A New Learning Approach to Save Lives

Watch our nurses and midwives in Ghana share their perspectives on a pioneering new approach to skills-building that is saving lives and ensuring high-quality treatment for moms and babies!


State of the World’s Nursing 2020: Investing in education, jobs and leadership

The World Health Organization’s State of the World’s Nursing 2020 report provides up-to-date evidence on and policy options for the global nursing workforce, as well as a case for investment in nursing education, jobs and leadership.

State of the World’s Midwifery 2021

This report, published by the United Nations Population Fund, World Health Organization, and International Confederation of Midwives, aims to document the world’s sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn and adolescent health workforce, with a focus on midwives. It calls for urgent investment in midwives to enable them to fulfil their potential to contribute toward universal health coverage and the Sustainable Development Goal agenda.


AlignMNH is a knowledge sharing and convening platform that aims to rapidly share science, evidence and programmatic experience across the maternal and newborn health communities. Driven by country priorities, AlignMNH creates space for country leaders, researchers, program managers and others to share, learn, problem-solve and align around priority issues for improving maternal and newborn survival and preventing stillbirths. The International Maternal Newborn Health Conference series, the first of which was held in May 2023, brings these communities together to accelerate solutions to improve maternal and newborn survival and prevent stillbirths in a coordinated and inclusive manner.

International Confederation of Midwives

ICM supports, represents and works to strengthen professional associations of midwives throughout the world. ICM aims to advance the midwifery profession globally by promoting autonomous midwives as the most appropriate caregivers for childbearing women and in keeping birth normal, in order to enhance the reproductive health of women, their newborns and their families.

International Council of Nurses

ICN is a federation of more than 130 national nurses associations, representing the more than 27 million nurses worldwide. ICN works to advance the nursing profession, promote the well-being of nurses and advocate for health in all policies.

Nursing Now Challenge

The Nursing Now Challenge continues the mandate of the Nightingale Challenge, working with health employers around the world to create leadership development opportunities for 100,000 nurses and midwives in more than 150 countries.

World Health Organization

WHO recognizes that developing nurses and midwives is critical to meeting future health needs. To learn more about universal health coverage, the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and the role of nurses and realities in making them a reality, check out these WHO videos:

Help us reach everyone with health care!

Your gift will allow us to prepare more nurses and midwives for leadership roles so all families get the quality health care they need.

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