Canada to host Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Summit

Image from Melinda Gates facebook page, "Every year, more than one million newborns die on their first day of life. The good news is these newborn lives can be saved with simple and relatively inexpensive interventions." According to the Lancet study each year 2.9 million newborn babies die around the world, while another 2.6 million are stillborn.

Noted philanthropist Melinda Gates issued an international call for more funding May 20th as she helped launch new research in the medical journal The Lancet on the plight of new mothers, babies and young children in developing countries.

This report puts  pressure on Prime Minister Stephen Harper as he hosts a major international meeting next week on his signature aid initiative -- maternal, newborn and child health.

Harper committed $2.8 billion to the cause during 2010's G8 summit and will be chairing the three-day event in Toronto.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced today further program elements for the upcoming Saving Every Woman Every Child: Within Arm’s Reach Summit, which is taking place from May 28 to 30, 2014, in Toronto, Ontario. Prime Minister Harper will be speaking at plenary sessions and moderating a panel discussion. He will also be participating in a roundtable with Canadian MNCH partners.

The Saving Every Woman Every Child: Within Arm’s Reach Summit will provide Canadian experts and global leaders with an opportunity to build consensus on the focus of future international efforts in maternal, newborn and child health. More specifically, Summit participants will work together on three key objectives: delivering results for mothers and children, doing more together globally, and undertaking real action for women’s and children’s health.

On Wednesday, May 28 – the opening day of the Summit – a discussion among panelists will focus on how the global MNCH agenda is delivering measurable results for women and children. Additional sessions will focus on increasing global attention to nutrition and saving lives of children through immunization.

On the second day of the Summit, a key session entitled “Doing More Together Globally” will explore those elements of the global partnership on MNCH that have been key to success: political leadership, financing commitments, focus on high-impact, cost-effective interventions and accountability. Concurrent sessions will also take place on: innovative financing and new partners; civil registration and vital statistics to promote accountability in MNCH; newborn health: further reducing child mortality rates; and the need to accelerate progress on maternal health.

On the third and final day of the Summit, participants will gather for a plenary session entitled “MNCH at the heart of post-2015.” This panel discussion will focus on the concrete steps needed to ensure real global results on maternal, newborn and child health to 2015 and beyond.

Additional details on the Summit itinerary can be found at: Further information will be added as it becomes available.

Quick Facts

  • The Saving Every Woman Every Child: Within Arm’s Reach Summit will bring together Canadian stakeholders and experts, as well as global leaders from developed and developing countries, international organizations, civil society, the private sector and foundations to take stock of the progress made to date and discuss the way forward.
  • Key international participants will include:
    • Jakaya M. Kikwete, President of Tanzania;
    • Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan;
    • His Highness the Aga Khan;
    • Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations;
    • Dr. Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group;
    • Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation;
    • Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization; and,
    • Anthony Lake, Executive Director of UNICEF.
  • The Summit will contain high-level keynote speeches and a mix of plenary and thematic sessions. They will focus on reducing newborn mortality; improving accountability through strengthened civil registration and vital statistics systems; saving lives through immunization; scaling up nutrition as a foundation for healthy lives; and building new partnerships with the private sector to leverage innovation and financing.
  • There is solid international progress being made to address maternal, newborn and child health, but more needs to be done.
  • The number of women who die each year during pregnancy or childbirth has dropped substantially – from 523,000 deaths in 1990 to 289,000 in 2013.
  • The global number of deaths of children under the age of five has dropped significantly as well, from nearly 12 million in 1990 to 6.6 million in 2012.

“Canada continues to be a leader in pressing for global action on maternal, newborn and child health issues. I look forward to welcoming key international partners to the Saving Every Woman Every Child: Within Arm’s Reach Summit in Toronto next week so that together we can keep these critical issues at the forefront of the global agenda and put an end to the tragedy of women and children dying needlessly, from causes we know how to prevent.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Short Agenda: Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Summit