Jul. 3

Statement on the Launch of the Achievement Roadmap for Maternal & Newborn Survival

by Ray Chambers

At a meeting of the MDG Advocates, a plan is unveiled to save mothers and  newborns; expand contraception access; and achieve MDGs 4 and 5

Today in Kigali, at a meeting of the UN Secretary-General’s Millennium Development Goal (MDG) Advocates, key supporters for achieving the health-related MDGs presented an Achievement Roadmap to save an additional 140,000 women’s and 250,000 newborn lives as well as to promote universal access to modern contraception methods. With only 564 days remaining, this is an essential step to reaching the maternal and child MDGs by the December 31, 2015 deadline.

The Maternal and Newborn Achievement Roadmap is available for download here.

We congratulate UNFPA, WHO, UNICEF, UNAIDS, UN Women, the World Bank, the Government of Norway and the child and maternal health community for presenting this integrated approach to maternal health and newborn survival while also recognizing the strong relationship between increasing the use of modern contraception and reductions in maternal and newborn deaths. By focusing on the 48 hours surrounding childbirth, when both the mother’s and child’s lives are at greatest risk, this MDG Achievement Roadmap identifies high-impact, cost-effective interventions for the mother and baby together. These efficiencies will allow countries to save more lives, faster.

The Roadmap is designed to reflect the priorities of existing plans that have been embraced by the global health community, including the world’s first action plan to reduce newborn deaths, the Every Newborn Action Plan, endorsed by 194 governments at the World Health Assembly in May. It also complements the Achievement Roadmap for MDG 4, which outlines how the lives of 2.2 million children’s lives can be saved by the December 31, 2015 deadline and supports the Secretary-General’s Every Woman Every Child movement, which mobilizes and intensifies global action to improve the health of women and children around the world.

The world is reducing the pregnancy and childbirth-related deaths of women faster than at any other time in history. But we need the smart, accelerative interventions detailed in the Roadmap if we hope to save the precious lives of an additional 140,000 women and 250,000 newborns in the next six quarters, and position the world for the ultimate goal of eliminating all preventable maternal and newborn deaths.

Thanks to recent funding for maternal and child health from the World Bank, Canada, UNICEF, USAID and Norway, along with continued commitment from country leaders, we are well positioned to finance the achievement of the health MDGs and build a foundation for continued progress after 2015. Just this week at this week at the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH) Partner’s Forum, 40 new commitments were made by governments, the business community and civil society to implement the Every Newborn Action Plan.

We must continue this momentum, reach the most marginalized, disadvantaged, and underserved populations and increase their access to essential information, services and commodities. Only then can we reach MDGs 4 and 5 and honor every mother’s right to a safe birth and healthy newborn.

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