Health News of Thursday, 22 March 2012
A three-day Women Deliver Regional Consultation will be held from March 27-28 in Kampala, Uganda, to push for accelerated progress in improving maternal, sexual and reproductive health for girls and women.
Being convened by Partners in Population and Development Africa Regional Office and Women Deliver, a global advocacy organisation, the consultation will bring together Parliamentarians, government officials, civil society representatives and youth advocates to review regional success stories.
They would also examine lessons learnt and identify priorities for future international development goals to reduce maternal mortality and achieve universal access to reproductive health.
A statement issued by the Women Deliver Secretariat and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra, said the Africa Regional Consultation was the first of four regional meetings hosted by Women Deliver and partner organisations in 2012, with additional events to follow in Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and the Middle East and North Africa.
The consultations will help shape the agenda for Women Deliver 2013, Women Deliver’s Third Global Conference, which will take place between May 28 and 30, 2013 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Over 150 leaders from 27 African countries will attend the consultation meeting.
Ms Jill Sheffield, President and Founder of Women Deliver said: “Africa faces unique challenges when it comes to women’s health, and organisations and individuals are overcoming those challenges with equally unique solutions and this consultation will provide African policy makers and advocates with the opportunity to share their national and regional expertise to tackle some of the most pressing issues faced by girls and women.”
Mr Jotham Musinguzi, Africa Regional Director of Partners in Population and Development, said the participation of many high-level African policy makers at the meeting demonstrated that the health of the continent’s women and girls was an urgent priority.
“In the lead up to the 2015 Millennium Development Goal target date, it is more critical than ever that we work together to address the maternal and reproductive health needs in our countries and ensure that our actions make a positive and lasting change on as many lives as possible,” he added.
Since 1990, maternal mortality has decreased by 26 per cent in sub-Saharan Africa. However, 39 per cent of pregnancies are still unintended and only 17 per cent of married women of reproductive age use modern contraception.
On the average, one in every 31 women in sub-Saharan Africa will die during pregnancy or childbirth.
Increased access to interventions, including contraception, pre- and post-natal care and skilled healthcare workers, could help dramatically improve maternal and reproductive health across the continent.**