Countdown commitment to act

19 April 2008

H.E. Dr Tshabalala-Msimang, Min of Health, South Africa
H.E. Dr Tshabalala-Msimang, Min of Health, South Africa
WHO/Giacomo Pirozzi

19 April 2008, Cape Town - Final delegates at the Countdown to 2015 Conference have committed to concerted, coordinated action to ensure that millions of lives of mothers, newborns and children are saved by the year 2015. The Minister of Health, Gambia read the Statement of Commitment from the Ministers, parliamentarians, country delegations and all participations to the 2008 Countdown Conference. Of the 68 priority Countdown countries, 61 attended the 2008 Conference.

At the final session, reports from regional break-out sessions from Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America identified actions which countries will take towards improving maternal, newborn and child survival in their region.

Dr Flavia Bustreo, deputy-director of The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health brought together a resume of the conference and highlighted some of its products, including The Lancet Countdown special issue, the Countdown 2008 Report and Country Profiles, and the link to the Parliamentarians. The Countdown to 2015 will accompany the 2009 Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, in Addis Ababa, where countries are expected to report their actions on achieving maternal, newborn and child survival.

Dr Francisco Songane thanked all country delegates for attending, the organizers and all those who had worked under difficult time-lines to bring the Countdown 2008 conference to a successful close.

The Minister of Health, South Africa, H.E. Mantombazana Tshabalala-Msimang, thanked delegates and organizers for coming to South Africa for the Countdown Conference. "As we adopt the statement, remember that this is a global call to the overall improvement of health status of women and children of the world."