Italian Parliament commits to increase investment in maternal and newborn health
15 JUNE 2009 | ROME, GENEVA - The Italian Parliament has unanimously adopted a parliamentary resolution on 9 June, which aims at saving the lives of mothers and children in the countries with highest burden, by committing increased official development assistance (ODA) by its Government for maternal, newborn and child health. The resolution is a critical welcome sign by Italy, the host of the upcoming G8 Summit next month.
The resolution, which was developed by a group of Italian women parliamentarians led by Senator Rossana Boldi, commits 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.
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 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.
"Global disparities in women’s reproductive health continue to represent one of the starkest health inequities of our times. Each year approximately 530 000 women and 3 million newborn babies die due to complications related to pregnancy and childbirth; 99% of them in the poorest countries of the world. Hence, the political will and support are critical to improve women’s sexual and reproductive health," said Dr Michael Mbizvo, Director a.i. of the Department of Reproductive Health and Research of WHO.
"The action of the Italian Parliamentarians for reproductive, maternal and child health is particularly timely as Italy will be hosting the G8 summit next month. The new resolution is a great step forward that can contribute to generating further initiatives towards the achievement of MDGs 4 and 5, at the international level," said Dr Flavia Bustreo, Director a.i. of The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health.
Developing countries need increased and more predictable international assistance in the areas of maternal, newborn and child health. Particularly in areas of maternal and newborn health, there have been made virtually no improvements since 1990, according to WHO.
For Editors: Resolution on increased ODA for reproductive health and maternal, newborn and child health can be found on links below:
For more information, contact: Tunga Namjilsuren Communications Officer The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health Hosted by the World Health Organization Avenue Appia 20 1211 Geneva 27 Switzerland Tel: +41 22 791 1073 Mobile phone: +41 76 494 32 39 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.pmnch.org