Despite the enormous progress that has been made in reducing rates of maternal and infant mortality, over 300,000 women still die every year of complications from pregnancy and childbirth. Six million children under the age of five die each year as well. Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5 fell shortest of their targets. Traditional midwives play a central role in preventing mortality, attending births and caring for mothers and their newborns. But their possibilities vary greatly.