Global Health Promotion Conference Begins In Kenya, Maternal Mortality Addressed

At the 7th Global Conference on Health Promotion, which kicked off in Kenya on Monday, participants discussed reducing maternal mortality and the related Millennium Development Goals (MDG), the Daily Nation reports. According to the newspaper, Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki “said that globally, the number of maternal deaths had … risen to 536,000 per year, translating to one death per minute.”

Kibaki said during his opening address, “We … need to identify innovative ways of accelerating the implementation of strategies targeting maternal and new born deaths and reverse this trend.” Without reversing the maternal mortality trends, “other Millennium Development Goals have very little chance of succeeding,” he added. The article includes information about Kenya’s progress in working toward other MDGs (10/26).

Kibaki said, “We have also seen strengthening of global initiatives with increased funding that have made available more resources targeting the major killer diseases like HIV/AIDS, TB, malaria and vaccine preventable diseases,” Capital News reports. The five-day conference, which is being held for the first time in Africa, “will discuss ways to seal the gaps in implementation of evidence based health promotion and weak health promotion capacity.” 

Kenya’s Public Health Minister Beth Mugo said that economic status should not prevent achievement of health promotion. “If we all had 15 percent of annual budget to going to health as agreed in the Abuja declaration, we would bridge this gap of implementation,” Mugo said (Karong’o, 10/26).

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