"It is estimated that by the end of this year the total number of births in the country will be well over 15,000 births," said Mrs. Judith Seke, the Health Reproductive Manager at the Ministry of Health, during the opening of the Midwifery Conference in Honiara yesterday.

Mrs. Seke said that as part of the Midwifery Conference, it is important that possible solutions are identified in order that such worrying trends are addressed. Mrs. Seke said that the Midwifery Conference also aims to address some of the complications associated with child birth.

Mrs. Seke said that according to last year's statistical records, 15 mothers have died after delivering their babies, mainly from internal bleeding and infections after giving birth. "Therefore this workshop is very important as it helps participants detect early signs of such problems which could result in early treatment...saving many lives," she said.

Mrs. Seke said the conference will not focus only on problems associated with the increasing birth rates but also on the prevention of newly born babies and their mothers.

After the conference, a Midwifery Association would be formed, the first of its kind, to deal with the professional development of midwifes.