OTTAWA, Canada, August 7, 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 Susan Truppe, Member of Parliament for London North Centre and Parliamentary Secretary for Status of Women, 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 round tables on maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) in Ontario, British Columbia and Saskatchewan during the month of August. During today’s round table in London, Ontario, PS Brown took the opportunity to announce support to improve MNCH programming in Nigeria.
“Maternal, newborn and child health is Canada’s top development priority,” Through today’s announcement of support to the World Health Organization, Canada is helping increase the quantity and quality of midwives, nurses and community health extension workers as well as improve the delivery of maternal, newborn and child health care services at the primary care level in Nigeria,” said PS Brown. Canadian leadership has once again brought MNCH to the forefront of the world’s attention, and mobilized unprecedented resources and momentum.”
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.
“We must continue to push on proven and reliable approaches and work together to ensure that MNCH remains a global priority and that we continue delivering real results for women and children in the world’s poorest countries,” said Minister Paradis. “Today’s announcement is a positive step toward assisting the Government of Nigeria to advance its health system in order to improve maternal, newborn and child health services to Nigerian mothers and their children.”
“Today’s announcement reaffirms that we are on the right track, and that saving every woman and every child is within reach,” said PS Truppe. “But we must all continue to work together: non-governmental organizations, the private sector, governments, and citizens.”
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 a generation.
• Canada supports the efforts of Nigeria and of other countries 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 leading to a high number of deaths of women and children. Nigeria is also a country of focus under the MNCH initiative.
• On May 28–30, 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 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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