Experts call for political will to improve maternal health


World health leaders have expressed the need for political will if countries are to achieve the just adopted Sustainable Development Goals specifically on Maternal and Newborn Health.

Assistant Administrator for Global Health Child and Maternal Survival Coordinator-USAID Ariel Pablos Mendez said this on Sunday during the opening of the 2015 Global Maternal Newborn Health Conference taking place in Mexico City in Mexico.

“We have moved from Millennium Development Goals to Sustainable Development Goals. But there is need for political will at country level to reduce maternal and newborn death,” he said.


Mendez also indicated that financing maternal and newborn health initiatives has been a major challenge as there are some countries that were capable of funding them but there was lack of political will.

Taking his turn, Julio Frenk, President, University of Miami, and Former Dean Havard T.H Chan School of Public Health, declared the Millennium Development Goals as a success.

“MDGs were a success, though some countries failed to meet MDGs 4 and 5,” he said.


Frenk urged countries not to lose focus due to the success stories that have been registered during the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals.

Frenk also warned countries to prepare for new challenges that came with the success of the MDGs.

According to Frenk, the MDGs helped countries and various stakeholders to be focused in addressing various challenges countries face.

The Global Maternal Newborn health conference is taking place in Mexico under the theme, “reaching every mother and newborn with quality care”.

According to the organisers, the meeting is taking place in Mexico because the country has tremendously reduced maternal and newborn deaths in the past decade.

President Peter Mutharika attended the United Nations General Assembly in New York, United States of America recently where the 17 Sustainable Development Goals were adopted.

Mutharika said government will integrate the goals into the domestic system.

The new set of goals, adopted on September 25 2015, is an expansion of MDGs into 17 diverse thematic areas that cover poverty, hunger, education, gender equality and health, as well as environmental concerns and broader social justice issues – inequality, decent work, peaceful and inclusive societies, and accountable institutions.

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