LIVES in the Balance: The Partnership Meeting on Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health
On April 7, 2005 the world’s attention focused on the plight of women, newborns, and children, and the need to improve their health and well-being. Each year more than half a million women and over 10 million children die, largely from preventable causes. The World Health Organization (WHO) commemorated World Health Day 2005 in New Delhi by launching The World Health Report 2005 – Make every mother and child count.
Following the WHO launch, the Partnership for Safe Motherhood and Newborn Health, together with the Healthy Newborn Partnership, the Child Survival Partnership, and the Government of India, convened a global meeting “Lives in the Balance: The Partnership Meeting on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health” from April 7-9 2005. Officials from nine countries (Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Cambodia Ethiopia, India, Nepal, United Republic of Tanzania, and Uganda) were joined by representatives of international agencies, development partners, and civil society groups to discuss the need for increasing the scale of interventions that could prevent millions of deaths of mothers, newborns, and children.
The meeting addressed a wide range of issues related to the health of mothers and children, including health systems and the human resource crisis; family and community practices; and financing and national budgets. Experts and advocates emphasized the need to focus on the full range of care for the mother, the newborn and the child, particularly during the intra-partum and early post-natal period when women and babies are most at risk.
At the close of the meeting, participants presented a statement of commitment to maternal, newborn, and child health, called the Delhi Declaration, to Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, Chairperson of India’s National Advisory Council.