Friday, 16 July 2010 11:50

AFRICA: Leaders Must Act Now to Save the Lives of Mothers, Newborns and Children, Say Organisations From Across the Continent


African leaders must act now to save the lives of mothers, newborns and children, say people’s organisations from across the continent.

Today marks the start of a three-day meeting in Kampala, Uganda, of groups demanding urgent progress on health – and calling on African leaders to keep the promises made by governments of the world to dramatically reduce the needless deaths of mothers, their newborns and children.

Never before have so many from across Africa gathered to give voice to these urgent needs, arguing that not only are these deaths a violation of human rights, but a huge barrier to development, justice and prosperity. Their messages that “no woman should die while giving life” and that “EVERY ONE child should survive” - are aimed at the African Union Heads of State who meet on the 25th- 27th July.

In response to public pressure, the survival of mothers, newborns and children is already high on their agenda. Now the world is watching them and the people of Africa are demanding that they take urgent action.

On Friday 16th July, voices across Africa will unite for a rally in Kampala, calling for governments to reduce maternal, newborn and child deaths by increasing investment in health services.

Around 10 000 participants will join the rally including women involved in the ground breaking ‘caravan’ reaching Kampala today after an epic journey through Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda. The health caravan, organised by ABANTU for Development, UN Millennium Campaign, FEMNET, Akina Mama wa Africa, SOWAR, White Ribbon Alliance and other partners, named ‘from the Womb to the Tomb’ has been providing services to pregnant women while raising awareness on the need to reduce maternal deaths across Africa.

The solutions to end maternal and child deaths are simple. Says Eyeneobong Emmanuel, a mother from Nigeria who only just survived the birth of her fourth child:

“If I was President the first thing I would do is to look after the women that established this world. I would build well equipped health facilities, and I would make sure that in emergencies there is a vehicle or ambulance to take a woman to hospital to save her life and the life of her child.”

The eyes of the world are now on the leaders of Africa to safeguard their women, newborns and children – who are the future of this great continent.

Source: Save the Children UK

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