Health Experts Gather In Ethiopia To Discuss Child, Maternal Health In Africa

A group of health experts gathered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Monday, to kick off a continental conference on maternal and child health, VOA News reports (Heinlein, 4/19).

Maternal and child health experts from African Union (AU) states, U.N. representatives, and regional and community leaders are among those in attendance at the conference, which will run through Wednesday, according to an AU press release (4/19).

While a recent report documented a decrease in global maternal mortality rates between 1980 and 2008, the number of women dying from complications of pregnancy or during childbirth in Africa remains high, VOA News reports.

“One-million maternal/newborn deaths occur annually with African women having a one-in-16 chance of dying from complications of pregnancy,” Ethiopian Minister of State for Health Kebede Worku said during the opening of the meeting. “Africa contributes about 47 percent of global maternal mortality,” Worku added (4/19).

During the meeting, attendees will discuss the best practices to improve maternal and child health, the challenges countries face in attempting to curb maternal and child deaths and will review progress made in the implementation of the Maputo Plan of Action (.pdf), the press release notes (4/19).