Workshop on ways of achieving MDG-5 kicks off

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Addis Ababa, 15 July 2014 (WIC) - A three-day workshop on ways of scaling-up action to achieve MDG 5 kicked off here yesterday.   

Representatives from ten countries with high burden of maternal mortality namely; Afghanistan, Bangladesh, DRC, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan Sudan and Tanzania are attending the workshop.   

Opening the workshop Ethiopia’s Health Minister Dr. Kesetebirhan Admasu said Ethiopia managed to reduce maternal mortality by 69 percent over the past two decades, putting the nation on the right track to achieve the target.   

"If we keep up the tremendous efforts made over the past years, the country will meet its MDG 5 target," he said.   

Ethiopia's achievements in family planning and reducing maternal mortality should be considered as best practice by other countries with high burden of maternal mortality, the Minister said.   

Ethiopia is keen to learn from best practice of India, Indonesia and Bangladesh on provision of quality health service, improve sustainability of medical equipments and medicines, and technology utilization, he said.   

He added that the country also managed to reduce under-five mortality and new HIV infections by 77 per cent and 90 per cent, respectively. It has also reduced new malaria and TB cases by 60 per cent.   

According to Dr Kesetebirhan, this demonstrates the political commitment of the government.   

Allocating good amount of budget for the health sector, deploying large number of health professionals and the operationalization of health development army contribute for the good results, the Minister said.   

UN Population Fund (UNFPA) Country Representative Faustin Yao on his part said "ending preventable mortality is critical for the health of women and to sustain development."   

Maternal mortality is rife in many parts of the world and 75 per cent of these deaths can be averted if women have access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and family planning services as well as interventions for preventing or treating obstetric complications, he said.(ENA)