World Health Organization Director-General Visits Canada

November 18, 2011

At the invitation of the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, the Director-General of the World Health Organization, Dr. Margaret Chan, will be in Canada from November 19 to 21, 2011.

"I am pleased that Dr. Chan and the WHO are holding their high level conference and the meeting of the Expert Panel on Maternal and Child Health here in Canada in recognition of our leadership to improve the health of mothers and children," said Minister Oda. "I am particularly proud of the strong partnership between the WHO and Canada in advancing global health, and working towards improvements that will help us achieve our shared goals."

"Dr. Chan's commitment to improving the lives of children and their mothers is well known," said the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq. "Through Dr. Chan's leadership, the World Health Organization plays a critical role in providing support and guidance to all countries on how best we can ensure the health and well-being of our children. Canada looks forward to advancing these important issues with her."

During her working visit, Dr. Chan, along with Minister Oda, will open a meeting of international health and development experts to provide guidance on effective implementation of the recommendations in the UN Commission on Information and Accountability for Women's and Children's Health Report.

At the invitation of the WHO, the Commission was co-chaired by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the President of Tanzania, Dr. Jakaya Kikwete. The work of the Commission and its recommendations will ensure that global efforts to improve the health of mothers and children are undertaken with effectiveness and accountability, and will accelerate progress in meeting the Millenium Development Goals.

The World Health Organization's mandate includes the coordination and implementation of the Commission's recommendations. To help achieve the goals of the Global Strategy on Women's and Children's Health the Commission developed a report and recommendations for countries around the world. The Strategy is in place to help save the lives of 16 million women and children by 2015. Canada's work under the G8 Muskoka Initiative on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health contributes to the Global Strategy.

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For more information:

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

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

Health Canada:
Cailin Rodgers
Office of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq
Federal Minister of Health
(613) 957-0200

Health Canada
613-957-2983