by Dr Jean Kalilani
Fifteen years ago, Malawi made a commitment to reduce by two-thirds the mortality rate for children under the age of 5. As Malawi’s minister of health, I am proud that we were among the six countries that met this “Millennium Development Goal,” as it was called, and that we did it ahead of the 2015 target date. However, our maternal and newborn mortality rates are still too high and more must be done.
This week I will help officially launch Malawi’s Every Newborn Action Plan. The Ministry of Health led the development of this plan with the guiding principles of:
● Integrating newborn services into other maternal health and child health activities.
● Ensuring every newborn is counted and that there is equity and equality in reaching out to every newborn, child and woman.
● Accountability and transparency for optimal use of resources.
This action plan is Malawi’s road map for change and our primary means of moving forward the U.N. secretary-general’s Global Strategy for Woman’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health, which will be launched in September at the U.N. General Assembly.
My aim is that this newborn action plan will guide the efforts of the Ministry of Health, our district officers and all stakeholders to design specific plans for accelerating progress toward ending preventable deaths among mothers and newborns and avoidable stillbirths. I am confident that the plan sharpens the focus on implementation of existing and new initiatives, and that is why we are recommending it to all stakeholders. It is vital that Malawi make use of every means and innovation possible to maximize use of health services and to avert preventable maternal, newborn and child deaths.
More here (devex)