U.N. SG Ban Praises Commission On Life-Saving Commodities, Says More Effort Needed To Improve Maternal, Child Mortality Rates

At the opening of the U.N. Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children on Tuesday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon praised the commission but “said that much remains to be done to save the lives of the 800 women and more than 20,000 children who die every day from preventable causes,” the U.N. News Centre reports (5/22). Devex notes that the commission “aims to increase access to lifesaving medicine and health supplies, … includ[ing] oxytocin, which helps stop bleeding among mothers after giving birth, and antibiotics such as amoxicillin, which treats pneumonia among newborns.” The commission finalized its recommendations on Tuesday, the news service notes (Ravelo, 5/23).

Ban “said the commission has focused on 13 medicines and health supplies and noted that its recommendations on how to remove barriers to greater access to those commodities will be instrumental in improving affordability and making the items more readily available,” Xinhua/mysinchew.com reports. “As your work clearly shows, we do not need to wait for scientific breakthroughs. … We already have commodities, knowledge, interventions and policies that can prevent needless deaths,” Ban said, according to the news service (5/23). The U.N. News Centre notes that “[t]he commission is part of the Secretary-General’s Every Woman Every Child initiative to support the achievement of the health-related Millennium Development Goals” (5/22).