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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
Kenya urges Africa to end preventable
maternal, child deaths by 2030

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,” Kenyatta said.

The First Lady who officially opened the conference called for the involvement of men in initiatives addressing the health of mothers and their children.

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.

“Collectively, we 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 investments.

Sicily Kariuki, Kenya’s health cabinet secretary, said the country has made remarkable gains regarding the health of mothers and children.

Kariuki however called for more innovative ways to end maternal mortality and child deaths across the continent.

Siddharth Chatterjee, United Nations Resident Coordinator lauded the focused commitment by Kenya to lower maternal deaths and child mortality in Kenya over the last five years.

Chatterjee said 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.

           

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