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Launch Of The Campaign On Accelerated Reduction Of Maternal Mortality In Africa

Speech on behalf of the donors at the launch of the Campaign on Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Africa

Published on 20 August 2014

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by Department for International Development and Phil Evans


London, England

Phil Evans
Phil Evans

Your Excellency, Honourable Ministers, Directors of Health, UN representatives, Donors, ladies and gentlemen.

It is a pleasure to attend this important event and to speak on behalf of the donors at the launch of the Campaign on Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Africa (CARMMA). This launch celebrates the commitment made by Somalia in Dubai in January 2013, towards saving the lives of mothers and children.

The launch of this campaign is a result of the strong partnership between Government, Donors and the UN on reducing maternal mortality and ensuring that women and children have access to vital life-saving, quality health services.

Somalia is one of the worst places in the world to be a woman or girl. There is a lack of trained professionals, services and resources to assist in deliveries and provide essential health services for women and girls. According to UN estimates maternal mortality in Somalia is exceptionally high at 850 maternal deaths per live births in 2013. This translates into a one in ten lifetime risk of a woman dying from a pregnancy related cause. One in three children is underweight and malnutrition is a leading cause in high mortality rates in children under 5.

It is therefore very encouraging to see the Government taking the lead in efforts to improve mother and child health in Somalia. With the New Deal in Somalia now in place, donors are committed to its principles, in particular, the leadership role of Government. By signing up to a commitment such as CARMMA the Government is demonstrating its ability to lead the health sector in improving the lives of women and children.

Just over a year ago in March 2013, at the launch of the Health Sector Strategic Plans, donors committed to align support to the national health priorities and to support the implementation of these strategies. The reduction of maternal mortality, neonatal health and access to reproductive health services are essential elements of these strategies and are reflected in the rollout of the Essential Package of Health Services and more widely in the Joint Health and Nutrition Programme.

Through the New Deal process, donors have committed funding to improve the health status of the Somali people and to improve coordination of the health sector. For donors, what is critical is that any funding given, translates into positive health improvements for Somali women and children. It is important to begin to show results, for the people in Somalia and for our own governments.

There is still a long way to go, wider determinants of health need to be addressed, health systems need to be strengthened and sustainable financing mechanisms need to be established. The rights of women and girls need to be respected; they must be treated equally, have access to quality health services and there must be greater accountability by governments. By developing an action plan to combat violence against women and supporting a charter to end FGM/C in the recent UK Summits, it is clear that this Government is committed to tackling these issues.

As donors we look forward to continuing to work with you to strengthen this response to reduce deaths of mothers and newborns and tackle the challenges faced in improving the lives of women and children in Somalia.


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Posted 2014-08-20 14:00:00