Canada Announces Support to Improve Maternal, Newborn and Child Health in Bangladesh

Canadian leadership improving research and services for women and children across the developing world

August 26, 2014 - Mississauga, Ontario - Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

Today, Susan Truppe, Parliamentary Secretary for Status of Women and Member of Parliament for London North Centre announced, on behalf of the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, Canada’s support to the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b) to improve maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) in Bangladesh. She was joined by Wladyslaw Lizon, Member of Parliament for Mississauga East—Cooksville.

PS Truppe made the announcement following a round table hosted by MP Lizon with local stakeholders to discuss the way forward to continue to improve the lives of mothers and their children in the developing world. This meeting was part of the consultations being held from coast to coast to coast that were announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper at the Saving Every Woman, Every Child: Within Arm’s Reach summit, which took place in Toronto on May 28–30, 2014.

“Canada is making a difference in improving the lives of women and children in the developing world,” said PS Truppe. “Canada’s contribution to the icddr,b is helping to provide the essential health services these vulnerable populations need and will also contribute to developing policies and practices to address the significant health challenges in Bangladesh and many other developing countries.”

The round table focused on how to ensure that global commitments deliver real results to those in need while remaining accountable to Canadian taxpayers. Canada is committed to scaling up interventions that will have the greatest impact: in the areas of strengthening health systems, improving nutrition, and reducing the burden of leading diseases.

“Canada’s leadership in maternal newborn and child health demonstrates the effectiveness of strong partnerships in achieving positive results,” said Minister Paradis. “By working with partners such as the icddr,b, we are helping to build prosperous communities and to ensure that all women and children can live healthy and productive lives.”

“Saving every woman and every child is within arm’s reach, but we must all work together,” said MP Lizon. “These consultations demonstrate Canada’s commitment to collaborate with all partners, non-governmental organizations, the private sector and civil society to deliver tangible results for vulnerable mothers and children in the developing world.”

In 2010, Prime Minister Stephen Harper launched the Muskoka Initiative, which put maternal, newborn and child health at the forefront of global development efforts. Thanks to Canadian leadership and subsequent global action, maternal mortality rates are declining and millions more children are celebrating their fifth birthday. Recognizing there is much more work to be done, Prime Minister Harper hosted the Saving Every Woman, Every Child: Within Arm’s Reach summit in Toronto in 2014. At the summit, Canada committed an additional $3.5 billion to continue support through to 2020, and issued the Toronto Statement, which reaffirms the global consensus on a shared commitment to end the preventable deaths of mothers, newborns and children under the age of five within a generation.

Quick Facts

  • Bangladesh was confirmed as a country of focus for Canada’s international development efforts and is also one of Canada’s 10 MNCH countries of focus.
  • The objective of Canada's international development program in Bangladesh is to create opportunities for children and youth and to stimulate sustainable economic growth.
  • Canada’s contribution will continue to target the most effective ways to reduce maternal and child deaths by prioritizing three programmatic areas: strengthening of health systems, improving nutrition, and reducing the burden of leading diseases.
  • Solid international progress is being made to address MNCH: the number of women who die each year during pregnancy or childbirth has dropped substantially: from 523,000 deaths in 1990 to 289,000 in 2013.
  • The global number of deaths of children under the age of five has dropped significantly as well, from nearly 12 million in 1990 to 6.6 million in 2012.

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Sandrine Périon
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Development and La Francophonie

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
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