Minister Oda launches the Canadian network for maternal, newborn and child health

November 22, 2011

Today, the Minister of International Cooperation, the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, formally launched the Canadian Network for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health during a round table meeting with Canadian health stakeholders in Ottawa.

The Network — made up of maternal, newborn and child health experts, medical practitioners and civil society organizations — aims to support Canada's efforts to improve maternal, newborn and child health by increasing coordination and collaboration among partners.

"I am encouraged by the Network's commitment to coordinate and work with our partners in delivering health, disease prevention and nutrition services in developing countries," said Minister Oda. "The Network's focus on results and improved coordination will ensure our government's efforts and our Muskoka Initiative to improve the health of women and children are making a difference in developing countries."

"The Network is an example of Canadian experts coming together to leverage our experience and resources in the interest of saving more women and children from preventable deaths," said Network co-Chair Rosemary McCarney. "One of our goals is to agree to a common set of metrics and a mechanism to track the results of our collective efforts. Our vision is of a rich knowledge base that truly makes a difference in improving mothers' chances of survival and the fate of their newborn children."

During the meeting, the Network launched its bilingual website — funded by CIDA — which, in addition to increasing information sharing among Canadian stakeholders, seeks to inform international partners of maternal, newborn and child health work underway globally. The website will also demonstrate results being achieved to save or improve the lives of mothers and children in support of Canada's Muskoka Initiative.

"The Canadian Network for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health illustrates the commitment of Canadian organizations to collaborate and share expertise in order to provide effective interventions for women's and children's health in vulnerable communities around the world." said Network co-Chair, Dr. Dorothy Shaw.

For more information on Canada's contributions, visit CIDA's Maternal, newborn and child health page.

- 30 -

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

Backgrounder

The Canadian Network for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) was established as a result of the November 2010 Ministerial Roundtable on the Muskoka Initiative, hosted by the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation.

Co-chaired by Dr. Dorothy Shaw, of the BC Women's Hospital & Health Centre, and Rosemary McCarney, President and CEO of Plan Canada, the Canadian Network for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health aims to:

  • provide a coordinating role for Canada's MNCH programme activities that will support data collection, shared metrics and other tools that align with country-level work through monitoring and reporting on health indicators recommended by the UN Commission on Information and Accountability for Women's and Children's Health. The tools will allow Canadian Network stakeholders, such as those groups undertaking projects under the Muskoka Initiative Partnership Program, to compare and assess progress made to save the lives of mothers and children;
  • identify existing and new opportunities across the MNCH continuum that will better integrate health prevention, promotion and healthcare in developing countries;
  • provide MNCH strategic and policy advice to CIDA and the Government of Canada; and
  • disseminate new evidence and knowledge regarding innovations that can enhance progress in MNCH.

To support its objectives, the Network created a website — funded by CIDA — which will improve information sharing among Canadian stakeholders and inform international partners of maternal, newborn and child health work underway in Canada and in developing countries.

Current Network Member Organizations

  • African Medical and Research Foundation
  • Aga Khan Foundation Canada
  • British Columbia Children's Hospital
  • BC Women's Hospital & Health Centre
  • Canadian Association of Midwives
  • Canadian Medical Association
  • Canadian Network for International Surgery
  • Canadian Nurses Association
  • Canadian Paediatric Society
  • Canadian Public Health Association
  • Canadian Red Cross Society
  • Canadian Society for International Health
  • CARE Canada
  • CAUSE Canada
  • Change for Children Association
  • Christian Children's Fund of Canada
  • Christian Reformed World Relief Committee
  • CUSO-VSO
  • Dalhousie University
  • Dignitas International
  • Ghana Rural Integrated Development
  • Healthy Child Uganda
  • Impact First International
  • International Development and Relief Foundation
  • Médecins du Monde Canada
  • Micronutrient Initiative
  • Oxfam — Québec
  • Plan International Canada
  • Presbyterian World Service and Development
  • Programme for Global Paediatric Research (Hospital for Sick Children)
  • Save the Children Canada
  • Save the Mothers
  • Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada
  • SOS Children's Villages Canada
  • St Michael's Hospital / University of Toronto
  • The Hospital for Sick Children
  • The Primate's World Relief and Development Fund
  • UNICEF Canada
  • University of British Columbia
  • University of Calgary
  • University of Western Ontario
  • World Vision Canada

- 30 -