Canada supports the Pan American Health Organization in its efforts to save the lives of mothers and children

September 27, 2011

Today, Minister of International Cooperation, the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, announced new support to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) to help strengthen basic primary healthcare systems and service delivery in Latin America and the Caribbean, as part of Canada's Muskoka Initiative to improve the health of mothers and children.

"Canada is proud to support the work of the Pan American Health Organization in the Americas. This project will reduce the mortality and morbidity rates of women, newborns and children, as well as those of vulnerable populations in Latin American and Caribbean countries," said Minister Oda. "The region has experienced remarkable achievements in delivering maternal health services and saving lives. This project, part of Canada's Muskoka Initiative, will ensure continued progress and move us closer to meeting the Millennium Development Goals by 2015."

Minister Oda made this announcement during a keynote speech delivered on behalf of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, to introduce PAHO's discussions on their Plan of Action to accelerate Reduction of Maternal Mortality and Severe Maternal Morbidity (PDF, 30 pages, 256 KB) during PAHO's 51st Directing Council in Washington, D.C.

Through this three-year project called Improved Health for Women, Children and Marginalized Populations, PAHO will focus on three components to help countries attain a well-functioning health system, namely: strengthening health services delivery, implementing health information systems and improving governance. The project will prioritise country-level activities in 11 Latin American and Caribbean countries where MNCH needs and gaps are greatest.

Canada's support to the PAHO for this project will implement the recommendations of the UN Commission on Information and Accountability for Women's and Children's Health report presented to the United Nations in New York last week. The Commission was co-chaired by Prime Minister Harper along with the President of Tanzania.

During her speech, Minister Oda urged all countries to look to the Commission's Report to assist them in monitoring the fulfilment of donor commitments, track progress and report on results achieved to improve the health of their populations.

"Support from the Americas to implement the recommendations will be critical to improving health outcomes for women and children in the Americas. The recommendations will ensure that accountability and reporting of results is increased in the global effort to save the lives of mothers, infants and young children," said Minister Oda. "This project will help 11 Latin American countries collect the necessary information and improve the local capacity to improve health services in their country."

This $18 million project contributes to Canada's work to save the lives of mothers and children in developing countries through a five-year, Muskoka Initiative commitment of $2.85 billion for projects that strengthen health systems at the community level, combat illness and disease and improve nutrition.

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Information

Justin Broekema
Press Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation
Telephone: 819-953-6238
justin.broekema@acdi-cida.gc.ca

Media Relations Office
Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
Telephone: 819-953-6534
Email: media@acdi-cida.gc.ca

Backgrounder

On September 27, 2011, Canada announced new support to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) to help strengthen basic primary healthcare systems and service delivery in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as to increase protection from communicable diseases.

The three-year project called Improved Health for Women, Children and Marginalized Populations, aims to reduce the mortality and morbidity rates of women, newborns, children, and those of vulnerable populations in Latin American and Caribbean countries by focusing on:

  • Strengthening health service delivery
    With CIDA's support PAHO will improve the integration and comprehensive delivery of healthcare services through technical cooperation with national health authorities, local and district-level public healthcare institutions, as well as with communities and community health networks.
  • Implementing health information systems
    With CIDA's contribution, PAHO will provide technical cooperation and training for national health authorities to develop and strengthen the collection of health information, including through surveillance systems and databases.
  • Improving leadership, financing, monitoring and evaluation of national health programs
    PAHO, with CIDA's help, will support national and sub-national authorities in the establishment and monitoring/evaluation of, and coherence between, national strategies, action plans, public policies, legislation and financing mechanisms aimed at advancing universal access to basic primary healthcare services.

Based on a regional approach, the project will prioritize country-level activities in 11 Latin American and Caribbean countries where maternal newborn and child health (MNCH) needs and gaps are greater, including: Bolivia, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Nicaragua, Paraguay and Peru. Other countries in the region will also benefit from the project's lessons learned.

PAHO is a key institutional partner for CIDA in pursuing its strategic health objectives for the Americas, especially in strengthening health systems, improving delivery of primary health care services, and preventing and controlling communicable disease.

This $18 million project contributes to Canada's work to save the lives of mothers and children in developing countries through its five-year, Muskoka Initiative commitment of $2.85 billion for projects that strengthen health systems at the community level, combat illness and disease and improve nutrition.

Canada's support to PAHO also furthers the work Canada and other donors are undertaking to implement the recommendations of the UN Commission on Information and Accountability for Women's and Children's Health.

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