The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) today reaffirmed its commitment to a partnership with Amref Health Africa aimed at improving the health of women and children in Africa.
Speaking at the exchange of a signed Memorandum of Understanding that makes Amref Health Africa an implementing partner for UNFPA in Africa, Dr Laura Laski, Chief of Sexual and Reproductive Health at UNFPA, said the partnership intended to strengthen health systems by training midwives to building their capacity to respond to health issues, particularly those related to maternal, neonatal and adolescent health.
UNFPA values Amref Health Africa because you are an African international organisation that has experience in building capacity on the continent, and particularly in training midwives. UNFPA has been focussing on increasing the numbers and skills of midwives to contribute to meeting of Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5. Midwives are very important because they can handle many issues such as child birth, family planning services and Sexually Transmitted Diseases. They are also close to the communities, so they form a powerful link between the people and the formal health systems,” said Dr Laski.She added that the goal of the partnership was to ensure that African countries had enough midwives to meet the health needs of women.
Amref Health Africa Director General Dr Teguest Guerma reiterated the importance of midwives to survival of mothers in Africa. “Mothers are the heart of communities. They hold families, communities and entire nations together. We must continue to ensure that they are well taken care of as they go through the important process of bringing new life into the world, and their children survive and thrive for the prosperity of future generations,”
She emphasised that high maternal mortality in Africa is an unfinished agenda of the Millennium Development Goals, and one of the critical issues that will be discussed at the Amref Health Africa International Conference to be held in Nairobi from November 24-26. She urged African governments to increase their commitment and contribution to health development, as well as individuals, corporates and institutions.
Here is the Press Release