Governments and other organizations must intensify efforts to improve the health of women and children, particularly in the developing world where the lion’s share of deaths occur, says Dr. Philip Baker, an internationally renowned medical researcher in obstetrics & gynecology. Baker is the lead author on a G8 positioning paper that included consultations with 20 of the world’s leading medical experts on women and children’s health.
The academies of science of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States have issued a joint set of recommendations for the upcoming G8 summit on how to achieve these goals. Lead author of the position paper is Dr. Philip Baker, professor of obstetrics & gynecology and dean of the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Alberta in Canada.
“The health of families, communities and economies is inextricably tied to the health of women — yet every 100 seconds, a woman dies in pregnancy or childbirth somewhere in the world. Mother and child outcomes are closely linked. Reducing maternal mortality is critical and is also a priority for improving child health,” the paper says.
Some of its recommendations include the following:
- Governments and other organizations must increase funding and resources for maternal and child health.
- Health facilities and staffing need strengthening.
- Strategies to improve maternal health should facilitate access to contraception services and measures to reduce unsafe abortion.
- Policies which protect women and children from all forms of abuse, injury, exploitation and violence must be promoted.
- Maternal and child health research needs strengthening, especially in knowledge translation.
The summit is being hosted by Canada in June.