On 27 March, policymakers and advocates from sub-Saharan Africa gathered in Kampala, Uganda, at a regional consultation convened by Partners in Population and Development and global advocacy organization Women Deliver. The consultation was to reaffirm national and regional commitments to Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 5 reducing maternal mortality and ensuring universal access to reproductive health.
“We are at a critical juncture in global efforts to improve maternal and reproductive health,” said Jill Sheffield, President of Women Deliver. “We have seen time and time again that prioritizing girls and women is a good investment – and a smart one. Now, more than ever, we need the political will and resources required to achieve the goals we’ve set and deliver on the promises we’ve made.”
Martin Chungong the Director program for the Promotion of Democracy, Inter-parliamentary Union (IPU) said there is a growing determination to involve parliaments in the maternal health fight because previously there has been little or no political input yet maternal health affects a whole majority of the population with millions of women dying.
Christine Ondoa the Minister for Health for Uganda said though there is some achievement in the health sector, there is still a lot that needs to be done to ensure that Uganda is on track to meet the 2015 deadline. She said the meeting is timely because it will give an opportunity to countries to know their progress, the challenges and lessons that will be necessary for countries to achieve MDG 5. According to the 2006 statistics Uganda loses 435 women per 100,00 live births.
Janet Museveni, the First lady said maternal mortality still remains a critical indicator of the state of our health systems and it also reflects on the disparities among the rich and poor. She said the government is doing everything it can to ensure that women do not die in pregnancy and childbirth.