Health Minister Popi Kanari announced on Friday that a natural childbirth strategy will soon be discussed in the cabinet.

During her opening remarks at the Nursing and Midwifery Scientific Conference of the Nursing Department of the Cyprus University of Technology (Tepak), she mentioned that the new strategy aims to increase remuneration for natural childbirth and upgrading the role of midwives.

She added that “therefore, the work of everyone, both nurses and midwives, is truly an invaluable gift to patients, newborns and their families, and for this very reason, continuing education in the field of nursing is becoming imperative in modern era”.

Addressing the role of midwives, Kanari acknowledged them as companions to women during one of the most significant moments in their lives. She praised their experience, sensitivity, and professionalism, emphasizing their role in creating a safe and emotionally supportive environment for new families.

Referring to the success of the Nursing Department of Tepak, ranked among the best globally since 2018, the minister said that the successes “reflect on the entire society of Cyprus”.

She added: “This is because by promoting your own legitimate educational aspirations in your field, you contribute to the creation of a homeland rich in academic knowledge, with well-trained scientists, ready to strengthen the field of nursing and midwifery science, always for the benefit of the Cypriot citizen and of the Cypriot patient.”

Kanari’s strategy to promote natural childbirth has been in the works since beginning her tenure as minister.

“Though Caesarean sections are safe and lifesaving procedures, it is still a surgery which puts the lives of children and mothers at risk, when done without medical indications.”

Cyprus has the highest rate of C-sections in Europe.

C-sections in Cyprus reached 61 per cent of total births in 2020, while the acceptable limit set by the World Health Organisation is up to 15 per cent, the midwives association revealed last year.