PMO – Canada is Taking Action in maternal health issues!

PM announces new maternal, newborn and child health initiatives



May 27, 2011
Deauville, France

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced support for new health initiatives to help save the lives of mothers and children in Africa and Asia as part of the Canadian-led Muskoka Initiative launched at the G-8 Summit in June 2010.

Targeting the leading causes of mortality in mothers and children in countries such as Sudan, Tanzania, Nigeria, Mali and Afghanistan, the new initiatives will support comprehensive and integrated approaches to provide the necessary health services for mothers and children.

“Canada is proud to be leading international efforts to improve the health and save the lives of mothers and children in some of the world’s poorest countries,” said Prime Minister Harper. “The support announced today will assist some of the most vulnerable people around the world and demonstrates our country’s commitment to the G-8 Muskoka Initiative.”

The Muskoka Initiative on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) was launched by G-8 partners at the Muskoka G-8 Summit in June 2010 and responds to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals 4, 5 and 6 – to reduce child mortality, improve maternal health and combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.

New health initiatives include:

Establishing 24-hour emergency obstetrical and neonatal care hospitals in Southern Sudan.

Helping to immunize 24 million children and pregnant women against preventable diseases, helping to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV, and providing antenatal and delivery care to four million women in Tanzania.

Supporting additional antenatal care visits, increasing the availability of skilled birth attendants, and increasing access to contraceptives, post-delivery checkups, bed nets, as well as the number of infants fed with breast milk in Nigeria.

Strengthening the referral and evacuation system for pregnant women, reducing the rate of malnutrition in children, and pregnant and nursing women, as well as providing women with better access to the health services they need in Mali.

Training community health practitioners and increasing the access and use of health services for women and children in underserved areas of Afghanistan.

Helping to reduce child hunger and undernutrition in children and pregnant women in select developing countries, including Africa and Asia, by targeting the 1,000-day window from pregnancy to age two.

In addition to its leadership role in launching the Muskoka Initiative, Canada was a key contributor to the UN Secretary General’s Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper was also selected to co-chair the UN Commission on Information and Accountability for Women’s and Children’s Health, where Canada has worked to accelerate global progress in saving the lives of women and children by improving accountability for commitments made by all partners. He presented the final report of the Commission to other G-8 leaders at the Deauville Summit. The report makes 10 recommendations that call for an unprecedented level of accountability to track commitments for resources aimed at saving the lives of women and children in developing countries. These recommendations build on existing mechanisms so that simple and clear results can be put in place quickly and work for the benefit of all stakeholders.


Prime Minister Stephen Harper

The PMO Website of the Prime Minister

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