Health News of 2014-06-30

Global Leaders meet in Johannesburg on Maternal Child Health

With fewer than 500 days to hit the deadline for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), global leaders are to meet in Johannesburg, South Africa, to analyse the progress made so far.

The 2014 Partners Forum, which spans June 30 - July 2, will identify success factors and outline the remaining challenges the world must collectively overcome to improve the health, education, equality and empowerment of every woman and child.

The forum organised by The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH), will witness the launch of a number of new reports, including the “Every Newborn Action Plan”, which was endorsed by the World Health Assembly and provides a concrete roadmap to reduce preventable newborn deaths and stillbirths.

Partners at the Forum will also launch the Countdown to 2015 Report for 2014, which assesses progress toward the maternal and child health MDGs, and the Success Factors for Women’s and Children’s Health Report, which spotlights 10 countries that have made considerable progress in achieving the MDGs.

In addition, the Forum will feature the Africa-focused launch of State of the World’s Midwifery 2014, which highlights progress and challenges delivering live-saving midwifery services in 41 sub-Saharan countries.

Global poverty has since1990, been cut in half, and more mothers and children are surviving childbirth than ever before. Countries including Nepal, China, Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Rwanda have made significant progress and have provided a blueprint for the rest of the world.

But this progress has been uneven: each year nearly 300,000 mothers still die in childbirth and 6.6 million children do not live to see their fifth birthdays, including nearly 3 million newborns.

Some of the speakers for the forum would be Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway, Princess Sarah Zeid of Jordan, World Health Organisation Director-General Margaret Chan, Nigerian Minister of Health Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, Philippe Douste-Blazy, Special Advisor to the United Nations Secretary-General on Innovative Finance for Development, and Christopher Elias, President for Global Development, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.