Shadowing a Doctor

December 1, 2014

Assisting a mentor with caring for a newborn baby What is being done to make motherhood safer around the world

The UNFPA is working towards putting in place various measures that will help make motherhood safer around the world, especially in countries where it is needed most. The organisations main goal is to make emergency and non-emergency obstetric and newborn care easily accessible to all those who need it.

Some of the measures that are being implemented include:



  • The provision of quick and easy access to adequate medical care for all pregnant women.
  • Providing emergency obstetric care for women who develop complications during pregnancy and childbirth.
  • Educating men and women on the benefits of family planning services.
  • Educating young girls about the importance of postponing pregnancy until they are physically mature.
  • Improving nutrition for girls in countries where a girl child is considered a liability to the family. Poor nutrition is one of the factors that increases the risk of complications during childbirth.
  • Helping repair physical and emotional damage through specialised, focused interventions.

These are long-term plans and implementing them involves enormous resources in terms of skilled professionals, medical supplies and proper medical facilities. For anyone who is interested in making a difference, there are several opportunities, not just with the UNFPA but with several other global healthcare organisations that focus on maternal health such as the Red Cross, WHO, UN, Doctors Without Borders, Women’s Refugee Commission, and several others.

Some of the specialties that are in high demand to fulfil maternal health goals worldwide include:

  • Obstetricians
  • Gynaecologists
  • Midwives
  • Nurses
  • Surgeons
  • Paediatricians
  • Neonatal nurses
  • Lactation consultants
  • Public health nurses
  • Community nurses


Working with the UNFPA

At the UNFPA, work opportunities are almost always available. All vacancies are listed on their website. While you may apply for as many vacancies that you want to and are eligible for, you should know that the organisation does not consider unsolicited applications. Only applications that are sent in for advertised posts are taken into consideration. All applications must be completed and submitted online. Resumes that are emailed directly are not considered. If maternal health is something you are interested in, this is a great opportunity to make your mark in this field. The UNFPA also offers non-salaried internships to select groups of outstanding students who are chosen every year on a competitive basis.