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Uganda, 26 November 2013: Government of Uganda launches national drive to end preventable child and maternal deaths

Plan aims to prevent additional 120,000 child deaths and 6,100 maternal deaths in Uganda by 2017

Kampala, 26 November 2013 - The Government of Uganda has launched a major national drive to end maternal and child deaths across the country. 

As part of the global “Committing to Child Survival: A Promise Renewed” movement, the Vice President of the Republic of Uganda, His Excellency Edward Ssekandi, unveiled a sharpened plan that aims to prevent an additional 40 per cent of Under 5 deaths and 26 per cent of maternal deaths by 2017.

“This sharpened plan is a critical step forward in Uganda’s efforts to eliminate preventable child and maternal deaths,” said His Excellency Edward Ssekandi.  “We now call on all levels of Government, civil society, the private sector, community leaders and the international community to come together to vigorously implement this plan so that we soon have a future where no Ugandan child and mother unnecessarily dies from preventable causes.”   

The Plan envisions five strategic shifts: focusing geographically on areas with the highest number of child and maternal deaths; increasing access of health services to deprived and vulnerable populations; emphasizing high impact interventions that target the direct causes of death; addressing the broader educational, economic and environmental context; and strengthening mutual accountability.   

“These strategic shifts represent a new way of doing business in Uganda’s health sector,” said the Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda. “With the potential of saving the lives of an additional 120,000 children and 6,100 women by 2017, over and above those who would be saved on the current path, all health partners across Uganda must now work together in earnest to adopt and implement them.”

By increasing the high impact interventions called for in the plan, it is projected that the Under 5 Mortality Rate will fall from 90 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2011 to 53 deaths/1,000 live births in 2017, while the Maternal Mortality Rate will fall from 438 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2011 to 211 deaths/100,000 live births in 2017.

“If effectively implemented, this plan will greatly accelerate progress towards Uganda’s child and maternal mortality – MDG 4 and 5 – targets by 2015,” said the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa-Onochie. “Having identified child and maternal health as a priority area of focus in Uganda, the United Nations now looks forward to providing its full support to implement this plan so that those children and women who are most at risk of perishing across the country can and will survive.” 

The sharpened plan was developed by the Ministry of Health with support from UNICEF, the World Health Organisation, UNFPA, USAID, World Vision, Save the Children and other health partners.

“The Government of Uganda is to be congratulated for its leadership and commitment to develop this comprehensive plan that holds the promise of saving many more children’s and women’s lives across Uganda,” said USAID’s Mission Director to Uganda, Leslie Reed.  

The sharpened plan is projected to cost $682 million over the next four years. 

For more information, please contact: 

Rukia Nakamatte, Ministry of Health, +256 774 063888, mbrukia@yahoo.co.uk 

Jaya Murthy, UNICEF Uganda, +256 717 171 110, jmurthy@unicef.org 

Charles-Martin Jjuuko, UNICEF Uganda, +256 717 171111, cjjuuko@unicef.org 

Note to Editors:

Committing to Child Survival: A Promise Renewed is a global movement to end preventable maternal and child deaths through collective action and accountability. It started in June 2012 when the Governments of Ethiopia, India and the United States, together with UNICEF, brought together more than 700 partners from the public, private and civil society sectors for the Child Survival Call to Action.

Last year, the Government of Uganda renewed its promise to give every Ugandan child the best possible start in life. Uganda was among the first of 176 governments that pledged to end preventable maternal, newborn and child deaths.

 

 
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