OTTAWA, Canada, August 8, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Today Lois Brown, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, hosted a round table along with Peter Braid, Member of Parliament for Kitchener-Waterloo and Parliamentary Secretary for Infrastructure and Communities, as well as with local stakeholders, to discuss the way forward to continue to improve the lives of mothers and their children in the developing world. This meeting was part of the consultations announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper at the Saving Every Woman, Every Child: Within Arm’s Reach Summit which took place in Toronto last May.
PS Brown is holding a series of MNCH round tables in Ontario, British Columbia and Saskatchewan during the month of August. PS Brown took the opportunity to announce support to the Clinton Health Access Initiative to improve maternal, newborn and child health in Nigeria.
“Nigeria is a valued development partner, and I am pleased to reaffirm Canada’s commitment to assisting the Government of Nigeria to advance its health system,” said PS Brown. “The project announced today, which will be implemented by the Clinton Health Access Initiative, aims to improve the delivery of maternal, newborn and child health, Canada’s top development priority.”
The round table focused on how to ensure that global commitments deliver real results to those in need while remaining accountable to Canadian taxpayers. Canada is committed to scaling up interventions that will have the greatest impact, in the areas of strengthening health systems, improving nutrition, and reducing the burden of leading diseases.
“The support announced today to the Clinton Health Access Initiative will help save the lives of children in Nigeria,” added Minister Paradis. “Diarrhea is a leading cause of infant mortality, and the project announced today will help put a simple and low-cost treatment into the hands of Nigerian parents. We must continue to encourage proven and reliable solutions, and continue our work to ensure that maternal, newborn and child health remains a global priority.”
In 2010, Prime Minister Stephen Harper launched the Muskoka Initiative, which put maternal, newborn and child health at the forefront of global development efforts. Thanks to Canadian leadership and subsequent global action, maternal mortality rates are declining and millions more children are celebrating their fifth birthday. Recognizing there is much more work to be done, Prime Minister Harper hosted the Saving Every Woman, Every Child: Within Arm’s Reach Summit in Toronto in 2014. At the summit, Canada committed an additional $3.5 billion to continue support through to 2020, and issued the Toronto Statement, which reaffirms global consensus on a shared commitment to end the preventable deaths of mothers, newborns and children under the age of five within one generation.
• Canada supports Nigeria and other countries’ efforts to improve maternal, newborn and child health. Canada’s support to Nigeria is focused on strengthening health care delivery at the community level, and preventing and treating illnesses that lead to a high number of deaths of women and children. Nigeria is also a country of focus under the MNCH initiative.
• From May 28 to 30, 2014, in Toronto, the Prime Minister hosted the Saving Every Woman, Every Child: Within Arm’s Reach Summit. At the summit, Canada committed $3.5 billion in support for the period of 2015–2020 and renewed global momentum to advance maternal, newborn and child health as a global priority beyond 2015.
• Canada’s contribution will continue to target the most effective ways to reduce maternal and child deaths by prioritizing three programmatic areas: strengthening of health systems, improving nutrition, and reducing the burden of leading diseases.
• Solid international progress is being made to address maternal, newborn and child health. The number of women who die each year during pregnancy or childbirth has dropped substantially—from 523,000 deaths in 1990 to 289,000 in 2013.
• The global number of deaths of children under the age of five has dropped significantly as well, from nearly 12 million in 1990 to 6.6 million in 2012.
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