NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
A three-day International Conference on Maternal,
New-born and Child Health (MNCH) kicked off in Nairobi on Monday
with Kenya calling for joints efforts to end preventable
maternal and child deaths in Africa by 2030.
The second MNCH
conference under the auspices of the African Union Commission
brought together over 1,000 delegates, technical experts and
government health officials from 25 African countries.
In her opening
remarks, Kenya’s First Lady Margaret Kenyatta said the goal of
preventing maternal and child deaths in Africa by 2030 is not
out of reach although there is still much to be done for the
continent to achieve zero maternal and child deaths.
“We are committed to
this trajectory because there is still a great deal of work to
be done. But the goal we are pursuing is not out of reach,”
The First Lady who
officially opened the conference called for the involvement of
men in initiatives addressing the health of mothers and their
She said there is
need to take stock and appreciate the achievements made so far
towards achieving zero maternal and child deaths in Africa
including the huge investments made by respective governments to
address the health needs of women and children.
have broadened our scope of work to pay attention to issues that
underpin vulnerability of women and children,” she said.
Kenyatta said women
health is underpinned by a myriad of issues covering
socio-economic, political and cultural realities which differ
across communities and regions.
“We must encourage
increased male involvement in MNCH and commit to strengthening
our entire health systems in pursuit of universal health for
all,” she said.
She stressed the
need to maintain the current focused momentum to address the
health needs of women and children including continued
Kenya’s health cabinet secretary, said the country has made
remarkable gains regarding the health of mothers and children.
called for more innovative ways to end maternal mortality and
child deaths across the continent.
United Nations Resident Coordinator lauded the focused
commitment by Kenya to lower maternal deaths and child mortality
in Kenya over the last five years.
efforts by the First Lady and the political will by the national
government through proactive initiatives had paid huge dividends
in the health of mothers and babies as the country embarks on
the journey towards Universal Health Coverage.