Health ministers meet in Dubai to accelerate progress to achieve MDGs 4&5 in EMRO
29 JANUARY 2013 | DUBAI
The programme and presentations
28 JANUARY 2013 | DUBAI - Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, ministers of health and high-level representatives from 22 countries are meeting in Dubai on 29-30 January to agree approaches to saving the lives of mothers and children: accelerating progress towards achieving MDGs 4 and 5 in the Eastern Mediterranean Region.
With a keynote speech from UN Messenger of Peace and Chairperson of Dubai Healthcare City Authority HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, epresentatives from government, non-governmental organizations and the donor communities have gathered for the meeting -- the first its kind, co-organized by the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA.
In 2000, world leaders set global goals for improving maternal and child health – Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5. In 2010, five years away from the MDG deadline, countries around the world rallied around the UN Secretary-General’s Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health. The Strategy aims to accelerate progress on the health MDGs, particularly MDGs 4 and 5 (reduction of infant mortality and improvement of maternal health respectively) - goals on which progress had been slowest.
Countries in the Eastern Mediterranean Region have taken steps to meet these goals. Some Member States have made impressive achievements, but in others too many mothers and children continue to die. As a result, the average annual reduction rates for maternal and child mortality in the region rank among the lowest in the world. Between 1990 and 2010, maternal mortality was reduced by 2.6% annually, and under-five mortality fell by just 2% per year.
Ten priority high burden countries
The Dubai meeting is pay particular attention to the situation in ten priority high burden countries identified under the United Nations Secretary General’s Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health: Afghanistan, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Morocco, Pakistan, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Yemen. These countries have been working with WHO, UNICEF and UNFPA to develop plans for scaling up action for discussion during the meeting. The plans will look at realistic scenarios of progress which can be put in place between now and 2015, and the resources needed to execute them.
Participants are expected to make individual commitments to improve coverage of maternal and child health interventions and services. The meeting will conclude with a Dubai Declaration on Maternal and Child Health in the Eastern Mediterranean region. Afghanistan, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen will all be represented at the High-level meeting.
For more information, please contact: Sarah Russell, Communications Officer, WHO +41 79 598 6823 russellsa@ who.int