October 2007, Mother and Child Health: Burning Issue of October Health Summit
Kyrgyzstan continues to lose 44 children out of 1000 live births before they reach their 5th birthday according to UNICEF supported research in 2006 (MICS-III). The country stands a zero percent of chance of reducing it’s child mortality rate by half by 2015 (Millennium Development Goals Four and Five), warns the latest edition of The Lancet.
The alarming situation prompted the Ministry of Health of the Kyrgyz Republic to make mother and child health, along with the prevention of the spread of HIV, a priority topic at the recent biannual Health Summit, which took place on October 11, 2007, in the Healthcare Development Centre in Bishkek. UNICEF and DFID were invited to facilitate the technical review process.
A working group conducted a technical review of activities not only for the last six months since the last summit in the spring, but also considered activities that began in 2006. Their role was to identify barriers and suggest the best solutions to overcome them.
It is expected that the results of this summit would help to attract more donor funds to programs combating mother and child mortality and help Kyrgyzstan reduce mortality rates in the Kyrgyz Republic.
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The Ministry of Health of the Kyrgyz Republic holds health summits twice a year – in the spring and autumn – to analyse the implementation progress of the on-going Manas Taalimi Health Reform Programme. This programme is based on a sector-wide approach, which represents a new form of interaction between the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic and donors. The autumn summits serve as forum to review the previous spring summit recommendations, as well as the work plan, procurements and budget for the next year, draw conclusions and make recommendations for further actions.
UNICEF in the Kyrgyz Republic is one of the main donor partners who work with the Ministry of Health to improve children and women’s health as part of the Joint Cooperation Agreement. It also supports social reforms and addresses issues of nutrition, education, early childhood development and protection of children from abuse, violence and discrimination.