Gates Global Appeal on Women & Children's Health
9 June 2010 at 1:11 pm
The Gates Foundation in the US has called on global leaders to make women's and children's health a top priority and commited US$1.5 Billion to the cause.
Melinda Gates has announced that the Gates Foundation will invest US$1.5 billion over the next five years to support maternal and child health, family planning, and nutrition programs in developing countries.
Gates says the world must come together to save women's and children's lives and the goal must be to build a world where every birth brings joy and hope for the future.
Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, discussed her vision for maternal and child health in a speech at the Women Deliver 2010
conference, an international meeting of policymakers, health experts, and advocates.
Gates says it is critical to challenge the notion that large numbers of maternal and child deaths are inevitable, or even acceptable, in poor countries.
She says every year, millions of newborns die within a matter of days or weeks and hundreds of thousands of women die in childbirth and most of these deaths can be prevented – and at a stunningly low cost.
Gates highlighted the importance of designing integrated health programs for women and children that address multiple needs – such as family planning, prenatal care, safe childbirth, and nutrition.
Gates noted that the next several months are a critical window of opportunity to secure new global action. Canada is urging donor countries to endorse a major maternal and child health initiative at the G8 summit in Muskoka, Ontario, later this month.
The new Foundation funding will support a variety of projects, including efforts to:
- Support the development of comprehensive, integrated programs, for example, by training front-line health workers to provide multiple services
- Develop and introduce interventions that could have a major health impact, such as simplified antibiotics for newborn infections and more cost-effective treatment for post-partum hemorrhage
- Conduct social and behavioral research on promoting lifesaving practices such as immediate, exclusive breastfeeding and skin-to-skin contact to keep newborns warm
- Develop effective strategies to expand the availability and use of voluntary family planning services in poor urban areas
- Rigorously evaluate innovative programs, and share effective strategies with other countries
For more information: http://www.gatesfoundation.org