Partnership is key to helping Africa’s women and children overcome health challenges
Publisher/Organizer: Roll Back Malaria Partnership
Co-hosts The Canadian All-Party Parliamentary Caucus on Ending Malaria, The HIV/AIDS and TB Parliamentary Caucus, UNICEF Canada
Publication date: 3 November 2010
3 NOVEMBER 2010 | OTTAWA – During a follow-up event to the UN MDGs Summit, Dr Dorothy Shaw, the G8/G20 Canada spokesperson for the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, stressed the importance of following the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health when addressing challenges such as Malaria.
On 3 November 2010, Dr Shaw, who is a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at the University of British Columbia by profession, was joined by HE Dr Nevers Mumba, Zambia’s High Commissioner to Canada, Chris Rosene, the Canadian Red Cross’s Director of International Development Programs, as well as PMNCH board member Dr Mickey Chopra, Chief of Health & Associate Director of Programmes at UNICEF, for Roll Back Malaria’s UN Summit follow-up event in Ottawa, which was co-hosted by UNICEF Canada and the Parliamentary Caucuses for Malaria, HIV and Tuberculosis.
The panel discussion between the four high-level speakers was preceded by a special advance screening of "The Motherland Tour - A Journey of African Women,” an inspiring film documenting singing sensation Yvonne Chaka Chaka’s encounters with women leading the charge in their communities against infectious disease.
Strategy stresses collaboration
Dr Shaw said the film did an excellent job illustrating the important role women can play leading health interventions in their own communities. Holding up a copy of the Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health, she then spoke of its strong emphasis on collaboration.
“It really stresses the importance of partnership,” she said, insisting on the need for governments to follow its directions and “invest in integration of care which means not just focusing on prevention of malaria but training health care workers, improving infrastructure and access to health services, empowering local women, family planning, immunization-all of which are key to improving maternal and child health.”
A voice for change
Fondly known as the Princess of Africa, renowned singer Yvonne Chaka Chaka is committed to using her music to bring about positive change for those suffering poverty and disease throughout Africa. She was more than two decades into her career when she became a UN Envoy for Africa and Goodwill Ambassador to Roll Back Malaria & UNICEF.
Her film, "The Motherland Tour - A Journey of African Women,” promotes the significant progress made in recent years on improving the health and rights of women and children in Africa, as well as the critical need for ongoing support. It is the story of Yvonne’s journey throughout Africa as she met and documented some of Africa’s extraordinary women who are pioneering positive change and sustainable progress on issues including malaria and HIV. The film highlights their personal stories and exemplary grass roots work on issues including maternal and child health, women’s empowerment, education, and poverty.
Yvonne is in the middle of recording her 21st album and plans to continue to sing and make music to change people’s lives.