G8 prioritize maternal, newborn and child health
The G8 Summit, held 7-9 July in Hokkaido Toyako, Japan, concluded with the adoption of a Leaders Declaration on "Development and Africa". It included several specific references to the importance of comprehensive approaches to improve maternal, newborn and child health. In particular, the G8 leaders noted that "in some developing countries, achieving the MDGs on child mortality and maternal health is seriously off-track, and therefore, in country-led plans, the continuum of prevention and care, including nutrition, should include a greater focus on maternal, newborn and child health". They also reiterated support for commitments to ensure that by 2015 all children in Africa have access to basic health care.
Maternal, newborn and child health also featured prominently on the agenda of the Fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV), held just prior to the G8 summit, in Yokohama 28-30 May. One of the key documents produced, the "Yokohama Declaration" highlighted the importance of making improvements to the health of mothers, newborns and children by:
- Supporting interventions focused on reducing the under-five mortality rate and maternal mortality ratio.
- Promoting the continuum of care for women and children across the span of pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, child birth and childhood via high impact intervention.