Rwanda, Egypt and Ethiopia have been applauded for their commitment to reduce maternal and child mortality using cost effective interventions, according to a new report.
The only three African countries that have seen delegates at the just concluded Partners Conference on maternal and Child health in Johannesburg, South Africa are part of the top ten fast track countries that have succeeded in reducing maternal and child deaths by more than 50 per cent in the last twenty years.
According to the report - “success factors for women’s and Children’s health” in countries like Bangladesh 65, Cambodia 57 per cent, China 80 per cent, Egypt 75, Ethiopia, 47, Lao PDR 56, Nepal 66, Peru 70, Rwanda 50 and Viet Nam 60 per cent all reduced the deaths by investing in high impact health interventions such as quality care at birth, scaling up immunization services, and family planning.
The report also shows that these 10 fast track developing countries made significant progress across other multiple health enhancing sectors such as education, women’s politics and economic participation, access to clean water and sanitation, poverty reduction as well as partnerships.
The Minister for Health for Bangladesh Dr Zahidi Maleque told delegates that his country hit targets for both MDGs 4 and 5 through empowerment, removing boundaries for inequalities and creation of employment for the woman.
“We also worked hard to improve the medical facilities, recruited health workers and increased supplies in all health facilities. We also invested heavily in Nutrition of women and children.” said Dr Maleque.
The World Health Organisation(WHO), Partnership for maternal, new born and child Health and the World Bank who were the authors of the report recommend that investments need to be made not only in the health sectors but education of women and girls, reduction violence against women to reduce maternal mortality.
Dr Peter Waiswa, an academician from Makerere University School of Public Health said that children’s’ health in Uganda has also improved but on a rather snail pace although tremendous progress has been achieved in reduction of child deaths by almost 40 per cent.
“However, when it comes to maternal health and newborns, Uganda is doing badly and is still ranked among the worst countries to be as a mother,” said Dr Waiswa.