Monday, May 17, 2010

G8/G20 Summits To Discuss Maternal Health

With the G8/G20 summits in the coming weeks major global development issues are at stake. One such issue: Millennium Development Goal #5--Maternal Health will be at the heart of the debate. The goal is to improve maternal health and decrease maternal mortality by three-quarters and this goal has the furthest to go in order to be accomplished by 2015.

Women are the backbone of society and are no less important in the developing world. They are arguably more important in transitioning economies. For example: 90% of the labor for rice cultivation in Southeast Asia is provided by women. Two-thirds of the goods transported in rural Africa are atop the heads and backs of women.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has vowed to make this issue a priority when the G8 convenes. To address global maternal health would require $10-$20 billion. This aid would go to much needed training of birth attendants, providing effective parenthood plans, delivering access to child immunizations, and providing proper nutrition for mothers and newborns.

Hopefully these imminent global summits will take the proper measures to address and solve the issues of maternal health around the world.

-Nick Mohazzabfar