ITALY: Italian Parliament commits to increase investment in maternal and newborn health
9 JUNE 2009 | ROME - The Italian Parliament has unanimously adopted a parliamentary resolution to save the lives of mothers and children in the countries with highest burden, by increasing Italian official development assistance (ODA) for maternal, newborn and child health. The resolution comes only weeks before Italy is to host of the upcoming G8 Summit in July.
The resolution, which was developed by a group of Italian women parliamentarians led by Senator Rossana Boldi, commits the Italian Government's support to reproductive health and maternal, newborn and child health as a priority for international cooperation, promoting exchange and training of health professionals.
In the discussion, Senator Boldi called the enormous disparity between rich and poor countries in maternal and newborn health "one of the major social injustices of our time". Senator Boldi pointed out that maternal deaths are usually associated with poverty and that improvement of maternal and newborn health is crucial for social development. Specific emphasis was put on the need to maintain and improve health infrastructure and the local health workforce. Other Senators who participated in putting forward the resolution included Senator Maria Rizzotti and Senator Laura Bianconi.
The parliamentary resolution was first developed in January 2009 during the meeting - “Italian Women for Reproductive Health” - which aimed to engage high-level women politicians in the effort to improve maternal and newborn health and was organized jointly by the WHO Department of Reproductive Health and Research (RHR), The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH), the Italian National Observatory for Women's Health (O.N.Da) and the Permanent Mission of Italy to the United Nations.