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International Aid Forum Says Maternal Health Issues Alarming


1 December 2011 at 11:56 am
Lina Caneva
The slow progress of maternal health in developing countries is alarming the leaders of Australian aid organisations, according to a forum in Melbourne last night.

Lina Caneva | 1 December 2011 at 11:56 am


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International Aid Forum Says Maternal Health Issues Alarming
1 December 2011 at 11:56 am

The slow progress of maternal health in developing countries is alarming the leaders of Australian aid organisations, according to a forum in Melbourne last night.

At a panel event hosted by Australian Lawyers for Human Rights, Rev Tim Costello (CEO of World Vision Australia), Andrew Hewett (Executive Director of Oxfam) and Dr Susan Harris Rimmer (Manager of Advocacy and Development Practice at ACFID) discussed the current issues in international aid and development.

Dr Rimmer said along with governance issues and setting up the scaffolding of democracy in developing countries, health care was still a major issue.

She said early deaths in childbirth, polio, TB, and water and sanitation were the main health issues facing the developing world.

“More people will die of diarrhea than anything else.”

She said maternal health goals “were the worst in terms of being met.”

“Achieving those maternal health goals is so important because it speaks to women’s worth in society.
“So many women in Timor are dying in childbirth, and its only 900 kilometres away.”

She said “women don’t die in childbirth from a lack of a machine – there is a range of structural issues that mean they do not get proper care.”

Aid organisations were also seeing a range of health issues that were once confined to the developed world – such as diabetes and smoking related illnesses as countries such as Indonesia and India were becoming more affluent.

The panel also addressed how the media can be harnessed to help respond to the aid crisis’, with Rev Tim Costello saying he was disappointed with the media’s response to the Horn of Africa disaster.

He said if an issue isn’t easily ‘filmable’, then the media won’t cover it as fully as something more dramatic.


Lina Caneva  |  Editor  |  @ProBonoNews

Lina Caneva has been a journalist for more than 35 years. She was the editor of Pro Bono Australia News from when it was founded in 2000 until 2018.

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