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Improving Maternal, Newborn and Child Survival in Warrap State, South Sudan

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This project – to which Canada is contributing $19.9 million over six years – will be implemented by the Canadian Red Cross (CRC) to help increase the survival of mothers, newborns and children in Warrap State by bringing life-saving health services directly to some 350,000 people in more than 600 remote communities using primarily mobile health care and community volunteers. More complicated cases identified by mobile health teams will be referred to the closest primary health care centres.

Project activities will include:

  • staffing and equipping four mobile primary health care clinics;

  • training more than 1,500 community health volunteers to provide basic maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) care and promote good health practices, including breastfeeding, better nutrition, and vaccination;

  • providing micronutrients to improve nutrition;

  • delivering life-saving interventions for malaria, diarrhea and pneumonia to children under the age of five, including distributing 116,000 insecticide-treated anti-malaria bed nets;

  • reducing the incidence of water-borne diseases by building and managing 170 safe drinking water points and 5,000 household latrines; and

  • building the capacity of the Warrap Ministry of Health and training the South Sudan Red Cross to train and supervise volunteers and collaborate with the Ministry of Health.

The CRC is well-placed to deliver this project, building on its past MNCH programming in 20 developing countries. The CRC also has significant experience in South Sudan, where its programming includes food security, health, and emergency response operations.

Every Woman, Every Child: Within Arm’s Reach Summit

On May 28 to 30, 2014, in Toronto, Prime Minister Stephen Harper will be hosting Saving Every Woman, Every Child: Within Arm’s Reach, an international Summit that will shape the future of Maternal and Child Health collaboration in Canada and around the world.

The Summit will build on Canada’s leadership and chart the way forward for the next phase of coordinated global efforts on maternal, newborn and child health. Summit participants will include Canadian and international experts on maternal, newborn and child health, representing civil society, business, academia, developed and developing countries, international organizations and global foundations.

The Summit will focus on the following three themes:

  • Delivering Results for Mothers and Children: Determining how, collectively, we have successfully delivered results and exploring how innovative technology and operating models are saving lives.

  • Doing More Together Globally: Pushing new technologies and global partnerships to improve women’s and children’s health.

  • Real Action for Women’s and Children’s Health: Identifying concrete steps that Canada and its partners will take to ensure that mortality rates drop, nutrition improves and more children live to see their fifth birthday.

  • The themes for the Summit were developed in consultation with key Canadian stakeholders.

Canada and the Muskoka Initiative on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health

In June 2010, Canada led G-8 and non G-8 leaders to commit $7.3 billion, mobilizing global action to reduce maternal and child mortality and improve the health of mothers and children in the world’s poorest countries, through the Muskoka Initiative.

As part of the Muskoka Initiative, Canada committed to providing $1.1 billion in new funding between 2010 and 2015 to help women and children in the world’s poorest countries. Canada also announced it would maintain the ongoing spending of $1.75 billion in maternal, newborn and child health programming during the same period, resulting in a total commitment of $2.85 billion.

The Muskoka Initiative succeeded in sparking international attention. In September 2010, on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched Every Woman, Every Child, a global movement mobilizing the resources of governments, international organizations, the private sector and civil society aimed at helping the world meet Millennium Development Goals #4 and #5 – namely, reducing child mortality and improving maternal health.. The goal is to save 16 million lives by 2015.

In September 2013, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, together with Jakaya Kikwete, President of the Republic of Tanzania, co-hosted a UN event entitled Women’s and Children’s Health: The Unfinished Agenda of the Millennium Development Goals. The event, organized in support of the Every Woman, Every Child initiative, examined ways to accelerate progress on improving maternal, newborn and child health and reducing the number of preventable deaths. President Kikwete will also be in attendance at the Summit in Toronto.

Canada is on track to meeting its Muskoka commitment, with 80 percent of the funding already disbursed. Under the Muskoka Initiative Partnership Program, Canada supported the efforts of 28 Canadian organizations to reduce maternal, newborn, and child mortality over three years in Haiti, Africa and Asia. Bilateral efforts are focused in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Haiti, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Sudan and Tanzania, where maternal and child mortality rates are high. Multilateral and global partners include organizations such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the GAVI Alliance, UNICEF, the World Health Organization, and the Micronutrient Initiative.