August 27, 2010
—The Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, yesterday concluded a successful trip to Mozambique and Mali, an important step to further develop Canada's way forward on the Muskoka G-8 initiative to improve maternal, newborn, and child health.
"Canada's Muskoka G-8 initiative has been overwhelmingly welcomed and supported. During my discussions and visits to national and district hospitals and more remote community health centres, the most urgent needs identified were those of access to closer health facilities, providing additional trained health workers, and helping to deal with malaria and malnutrition," said Minister Oda. "Canada's support of national plans through a comprehensive and integrated approach to strengthening health systems can deliver long-term sustainable results for mothers and infants in Mali and Mozambique," she added.
Canada will focus its efforts on strengthening health systems, reducing the impact of the most common diseases and illnesses, and nutrition.
"The shortage of health workers is particularly problematic," noted Minister Oda. "In Mozambique, I was advised of the government's plans for common standards and training for community health workers across the country. We are working with our partners to achieve real progress for mothers and children in Mali and Mozambique."
Minister Oda's visit to Mozambique and Mali was part of ongoing efforts to define Canada's priorities in implementing its $1.1 billion contribution to the Muskoka G-8 initiative to improve the health of mothers, newborns, and children under the age of five in developing countries. She met with a number of ministers, government officials, donor and aid agency officials, civil society organizations, and health experts. Supporting country health plans, particularly those that focus on mothers and children, is an integral part of Canada's G-8 initiative. To that end, Minister Oda signed a letter of intent with the Government of Mali to signal Canada's renewed partnership to help prevent the deaths of thousands of mothers and young children.
According to the World Health Organization, every year an estimated 500,000 women lose their lives during pregnancy or childbirth, and 9 million children die before their fifth birthday. As part of its G-8 presidency, Canada is leading the Muskoka G-8 initiative in order to address the Millennium Development Goals to improve maternal, newborn, and child health.
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Office of the Minister of International Cooperation
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Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)