Looking back over the past year, we have much to celebrate. The following list is not exhaustive, but recaps some of the most prominent maternal health-related milestones and events of 2010. As we push forward into 2011, we celebrate both the successes and solutions of the past year, as well as the barriers to success we can learn from in order to streamline our strategies to best reach MDG 5. Click through to read the top 10 highlights.
December 15th, 2010
July 28th, 2010
KAMPALA, Uganda — The high-level debate on “Promoting Maternal, Infant and Child Health and Development in Africa,” ended with an agreement by Africa’s leaders on an action plan to kick-start the effective implementation of existing resolutions and decisions on maternal, infant and child health in the continent.
July 26th, 2010
Over the past few years, Africa has shown admirably strong leadership in an area that is critical to this continent’s advancement: women’s health. From increasing the number of pregnant HIV positive women on anti-retroviral drugs, to ensuring that women are accompanied by skilled caregivers when they give birth, the continent is working hard to demonstrate commitment and progress on this important issue.
Women are the thread that weaves this continent together. They drive local economies and run households. In Africa, they operate the majority of small businesses and farms. Much of our wives’, mothers’ and sisters’ incomes go to our families’ food, medicine, and education. Investing in women is the right thing to do. It is also the smart thing to do.
July 26th, 2010
By Njeri Mwangi-Kinyoho, East Africa regional advisor, Advocacy and Justice for Children - World Vision International; originally posted at Daily Monitor (Uganda)
The 15th Ordinary Session of the Summit of the Africa Union will be taking place in Kampala, Uganda between July 19 – 27, 2010. The theme of the Summit is “Maternal, Infant and Child Health and Development in Africa”. Unsurprisingly, this theme is the same as that of the just concluded G8/20 Summit in Canada whose outcomes fell well below the expectations of developing countries in terms of commitment on increased aid particularly in the areas of maternal, newborn and child health.
July 22nd, 2010
By: Jill Sheffield, President of Women Deliver, originally posted at The Huffington Post
These past few weeks especially, Kampala has been on my mind. Not least because of the senseless attacks that took place there last week. The injustice of terrorism is confounding, and it is a tragedy that innocent people pay the price. But Kampala is on my mind also because, amidst the grief over recent events there is an amazing opportunity. The city is host to the 15th African Union Summit.
The theme of this year's Summit, building on the momentum of Women Deliver and the G8 Summit in the past months, is "maternal, infant, and child health and development in Africa." I cannot imagine a more important theme for a meeting in Africa, taking place at a more momentous time. Millions of women across Africa still struggle to realize their rights and live healthy, fulfilled lives beneath the burdens of poverty, sexual violence and unplanned pregnancies. [Read more...]
July 20th, 2010
The 15th African Union (AU) Summit began Monday 19 July 2010 in Kampala, Uganda. The summit is addressing various issues, including health, infrastructure and food security. It will also tackle security concerns in Somalia. Pre Summit, members of African Civil Society, comprising organizations working on maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS, water and sanitation, gender, youth, human rights, peace and security, and sustainable development issues in Africa, met to discuss issues affecting Maternal, Infant and Child Health Development in Africa. The Pre Summit was organized by the African Union Commission in collaboration with the Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC).
The result of the Pre Summit meetings was a statement by the civil society organizations delivered to the 15th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union calling upon African Governments to work towards improving the health of women. It asks that they enact policies, strengthen health and community systems and accountability mechanisms, increase resources for health, integrate previous commitments, and more, to accelerate the attainment of the MDG. Read the statement here.
July 20th, 2010
By: Ernestine B. Greaves, one of the Women Deliver 100 Young Leaders
Globally, we now have the largest generation of youth in history: more than 1.2 billion young people are between 10 and 19 years old. We are the future. Yet our future is uncertain if our health systems and health services continue to fail this generation, and the next.
It’s an unfortunate truth that one woman, every minute, dies from complications due to pregnancy and childbirth around the world. This is also the leading cause of death for girls aged 15-19 in developing countries. Unplanned pregnancy rates continue to be high across the world, and of the 13% of maternal deaths worldwide due to unsafe abortions, almost half of those are aged under 19. The challenges of pregnancy and childbirth threaten young women’s lives every single day.
Now is the time to deliver for these women. As her Excellency President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf attends the Summit of the African Union, she must take action on maternal health and protect and promote the sexual and reproductive health and rights of young people.
July 15th, 2010
It is a simple truth: The Millennium Development Goals will not be achieved in Africa without addressing sexual and reproductive health. In 2006, recognizing that women and girls deliver enormous social and economic benefits to their families, communities, and nations, the African Union boldly adopted a short-term plan to achieve the MDGs and save women’s lives in their continent: The Maputo Plan of Action. You understood the needs and realities of your countries, you came together, and you adopted a plan that moved sexual and reproductive health higher on Africa’s political agenda. We commend you for taking the lead in addressing sexual and reproductive health, including maternal health and family planning.
Now, the Maputo Plan of Action is about to expire, and we’re calling on you to reenergize your efforts to achieve the goals that you set in 2006. It’s time to build on the legacy of the Maputo Plan, and to move forward with renewed determination to save the lives of millions of women and girls. [Read more...]