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Global Leaders Unite To Prompt Investment In Maternal Health

 

Global leaders will unite to transform the way the world addresses maternal health at the Women Deliver Conference in Washington, DC on June 7-9, 2010. On the eve of the G8 Summit, they will call on governments worldwide to invest at least an additional US$12 billion in women’s health and family planning services, to protect the 550,000 women who still die in pregnancy or childbirth each year.

Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington and New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof have signed on to join other headliners including US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, US First Lady Michelle Obama, Gates Foundation Co-Chair Melinda Gates, maternal health advocate Christy Turlington, and WHO Director-General Margaret Chan who are invited to attend the conference. They will join more than 3,000 other attendees, including heads of state, first ladies from around the world, ministers, donors, activists, and leading journalists to promote women’s health. 

Women Deliver 2010 will highlight recent achievements in maternal health, while exploring the role women play in a country’s overall wellbeing. An entire day will be devoted to the role of reproductive health technologies in social transformation, with special emphasis on 50th anniversary of the FDA’s approval of the birth control pill, on May 9, 2010. 

While 99 percent of maternal deaths occur in developing countries, women’s health is a concern in developing and industrialized countries alike. According to a recent Amnesty International report, "the USA spends more than any other country on health care, and more on maternal health than any other type of hospital care. Despite this, women in the USA have a higher risk of dying of pregnancy-related complications than those in 40 other countries.” In Women Deliver host city Washington, DC, 34.9 women die of pregnancy-related causes per 100,000 live births. 

The last three years have seen mounting evidence that improving the health of women is a critical step to achieving all the Millennium Development Goals, with clear economic, political, and security benefits for countries. Women Deliver 2010 follows a considerable surge in ensuing attention to global women’s issues. Hillary Clinton has championed the cause, declaring last week that “women’s progress is human progress,” while in February, Canada’s Prime Minister announced that maternal health would be a key theme for the G8 this year. Women Deliver is expected to be the highest-profile and largest event ever to focus on maternal health and catalyze global action on the issue. 

WHAT: Women Deliver 2010
WHEN: Monday, June 7 to Wednesday, June 9, 2010
WHERE: The Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington DC, USA

 



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