Partnership welcomes G8 commitment to reduce maternal, newborn and child deaths
Injection of new resources critical to save lives
10 July 2008, Geneva - The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health welcomes G8 leaders' commitment to take urgent action to prevent the deaths of ten million young children and women each year. The pledge by leaders of the Group of Eight countries to invest in a continuum of care for maternal, newborn and child health in developing countries is made in the Toyako Framework for Action on Global Health issued during the 2008 G8 Summit in Hokkaido, Japan.
"The Partnership is heartened that G8 Leaders have for the first time acknowledged the terrible toll of preventable child and maternal mortality and the urgent need to strengthen health systems for women and children, including access to reproductive health care" said Dr Francisco Songane, Director of the Partnership.
"However, we expect G8 promises to be backed up with additional resources" Dr Songane continued. "Unless new funding is invested in basic health services, mothers and young children will continue to die every minute of day from largely preventable and treatable causes, with sub-Saharan Africa particularly at risk" he added.
The Partnership has estimated that an additional US$10.2 billion is needed annually to ensure universal coverage of basic services needed to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5 on reducing child and maternal mortality by 2015.
The Partnership also welcomes the 2008 G8 pledge to increase the health workforce to attain the WHO threshold of 2.3 health workers per 1000 people. The critical shortage of health workers - notably midwives and skilled birth attendants - is a major bottleneck preventing women and young children from receiving life-saving care.
"We want to acknowledge the leadership role played by the Government of Japan in promoting health gains for women and young children at the Hokkaido Summit" said Dr Flavia Bustreo, Deputy Director of the Partnership. "We look forward to working with the Government of Italy, host of the 2009 G8 summit, to ensure it results in a major financial contribution for maternal and child health. The evidence from previous G8 summits is clear: investment and political commitment translates directly into lives saved."
About the Partnership
The Partnership is a global coalition of 250 organizations from around the world working in common to achieve Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 on child survival and maternal health. For more information, visit www.pmnch.org. For further information, contact:
Hosted by WHO
Telephone: +41 22 791 5408
Mobile: +41 79 441 2283
Hosted by WHO
Telephone: +41 22 791 1073
Mobile: +41 76 494 3239