ITALY: Italian women Parliamentarians commit to maternal, newborn & child health
23 JANUARY 2009 | GENEVA - A group of ten women Parliamentarians from Italy participated in the first meeting on sexual and reproductive health - critical issues in maternal, newborn & child health. The aim of the meeting was to assess the current status of maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) in the world, with a focus on Italy, and map the Parliamentarians' actions in support of MNCH ahead of the G8 meeting, to be held in La Maddalena in July 2009.
The meeting was organized by the Italian non-governmental organization, Osservatorio Nazionale sulla salute de la Donna (O.N.Da), the WHO Department of Reproductive Health and Research (WHO/RHR), and The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH), Following the introductory remarks of Dr Paul Van Look (Director, RHR) and Dr Francisco Songane (Director, PMNCH), the presentations of Dr Mario Merialdi (RHR) and Dr Flavia Bustreo (PMNCH) gave an overview of the issues that were to be discussed by the Parliamentarians.
Two round tables moderated by Prof Walter Ricciardi (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Roma), allowed the Parliamentarians to comment and discuss two draft bills that will be presented in their Parliament, one dealing with the excessive number of Italian C-sections in the delivery of babies, and the other regarding international aid dedicated to MNCH.
- Senator Laura Bianconi spoke to the issue and presented recommendations to reduce the use of C-section deliveries in Italy to align with WHO recommended levels.
- Senator Rossana Boldi was in charge of the draft bill with recommendations to increase Italy's international development aid for maternal, newborn and child health.
At the end of the meeting, O.N.Da and WHO (RHR) signed a memorandum of understanding which will guide collaborative work in sexual and reproductive health issues, including the continuation of the annual meetings. The next one scheduled for next year will focus on breast cancer.
O.N.Da and WHO are both members of The Partnership.
Read the full article published in La Repubblica Salute (in Italian)
Comments by Dr F. Bustreo and Mr A. B. Johnsson, The Lancet, Vol 371 12 April 2008
Inter-Parliamentary Union briefing note
Jan 2009 The Partnership factsheet (italian)
Jan 2009 - Presentation by Dr F. Bustreo, Deputy Director of The Partnership