Workshop on MDG 5 concluded

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Addis Ababa, 17 July 2014 (WIC) - A three-day conference aiming at ways of expediting efforts to attain MDG-5, improvement of maternal health, was concluded on Wednesday in Addis Ababa.

Delegates from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, DRC, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan Sudan and Tanzania attended the conference.

In a key note address to the conference Ethiopia’s Minister of Health, Dr. Kesetebirhan Admasu noted that Ethiopia had brought about positive results in reducing maternal mortality rate by 69% over the past two decades.

This, he said, was a meaningful achievement that testified to the nation’s commitment to the attainment of MDG-5 and improvement s in maternal health.

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

He further underlined that Ethiopia’s family planning operating through the provision of modern contraceptive methods, the training and deployment of skilled health personnel and other activities were  major drivers in reducing maternal mortality.

He said other countries with a high burden of maternal mortality could draw lessons from Ethiopia’s experiences in maternal health to meet the target.

He noted that Ethiopia is also ready to learn from India and Bangladesh over extending quality health services, providing medical equipment and medicines as well as utilizing technology in the provision of modern health services. The Minister also noted Ethiopia had made substantial progress in reducing under-five mortality and new HIV infections by 77% and 90% respectively, adding that it had reduced malaria and TB by 60%.

He spoke highly of the Government’s political commitment and creativity, its deployment of participatory programs and skilled health extension personnel, and the operationalization of a health development ‘army’ as well as other activities instrumental in bringing the practical achievements in the health sector over the last 20 years.

UN Population Fund’s Country Representative, Faustin Yao remarked that halting preventable mortality would contribute a lot for the health of women and advance the agenda for sustainable development.(MoFA)