YAOUNDE, Cameroon – African countries at the 58th Session of the World Health Organization Regional Committee for Africa conference have proposed setting up a Global Fund to advance the fight against maternal deaths and infant mortality.
The fund will allow countries to tap into joint resources to pay for maternal and child health programmes and to cut the number of maternal deaths throughout the continent.
Dr. Muhammad Hassan Lawal, Minister of Health in Nigeria, said that since Africa constitutes 10 percent of the global maternal health burden, it's time to join hands to scale-up interventions for integrated maternal newborn and child health. He continued to say that "given the competing demands governments face, the proposed funds could provide member states with the needed opportunity to achieve better results in their respective countries."
Lawal also disclosed during a presentation at the regional conference that Nigeria has already created a full department under the Federal Ministry of Health, which will have doubled budgetary allocations to support and address family health issues, including maternal, newborn, and child health.
This Global Fund proposal comes in the wake of Nigeria and about 32 other countries signing the World Alliance for Patient Safety, a World Health Organization document that seeks to safeguard patients and health workers from infections associated with healthcare facilities.
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