31 December 2012

Nigeria: President Jonathan Reaffirms Commitment to Accelerated Reduction of Maternal and Infant Mortality

Photo: Florian Lems/MSF
Mothers and their children at a feeding centre in Chad.

President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has pledged that the Federal Government will continue to commit more resources and effort to accelerating the reduction of maternal and infant mortality in Nigeria.

Speaking at an audience with the Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Prof. Babatunde Osotimehin, on Monday, December 31, in Abuja, President Jonathan said that his Administration will do everything possible to build on the reductions in maternal and infant mortality which have already been achieved in the country, as acknowledged by Prof. Osotimehin.

Expressing his strong personal commitment to the reduction of maternal and infant mortality, President Jonathan said that the Federal Government was pursuing a multifaceted approach by tackling the problem with improvements in health facilities, public sanitation, education and communications across the country.

President Jonathan also accepted a request from UNFPA to assist in mobilizing other African Heads of State and Government to give fresh impetus to the Campaign for the Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Africa (CARMMA) at the next African Union Summit in Addis Ababa.

Prof. Osotimehin said that President Jonathan was being invited to assist UNFPA in revitalizing CARMMA because of the excellent credentials he has established as a leading voice for health improvements in Africa through his work as Co-Chairman of the United Nations Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children, as well as his Saving One Million Lives Initiative.

The UNFPA Executive Director said that although 37 African countries had adopted and launched CARMMA since 2007, the United Nations agency was working with the African Union to make the campaign more effective because political commitment to its objectives has not been in tandem with its actualization thus far.

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