Dubai: Shaikh Maktoum Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, yesterday attended the launch of the Dubai Declaration, ‘Saving lives, Rising to the Challenge’, which details seven key concrete actions to be taken by all countries in the region to enable more women and children to access the health services they need.
The launch was announced at a United Nations-convened high-level meeting on saving the lives of mothers and children in the Eastern Mediterranean Region.
In the declaration, 22 countries and international, regional and national agencies agreed to urgently accelerate progress on improving maternal and child health between now and the end of 2015. Delegates also committed to reduce the gap between current funding levels and those required if the region is to meet Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 on reducing maternal and child mortality.
Countries also agreed to develop and execute national plans for maternal and child health; to take measurable steps to strengthen their health systems and address local bottlenecks and to mobilise domestic and international resources to establish sustainable financing mechanisms.
They also agreed to improve coordination and accountability between all partners and promote cooperation between countries within the region; to address social and environmental determinants of maternal and child health, such as poverty, gender, water and sanitation, nutrition, and education, and to monitor progress through a regional commission on the health of women, adolescents and children.
They noted the critical need to address the inequities that exist within and between countries and the additional challenges posed in many countries by humanitarian crises.
They also agreed to urgently accelerate progress on improving maternal and child health between now and the end of 2015.
Delegates also committed to reduce the gap between current funding levels and those required if the region is to meet Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 on reducing maternal and child mortality.
The meeting was attended and addressed by UN Messenger of Peace and Chairperson of Dubai Healthcare City Authority, Princess Haya Bint Al Hussain, wife of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in the presence of Abdul Rahman Mohammad Al Owais, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development and Acting Minister of Health, and Eisa Al Maidoor, Director-General of the Dubai Health Authority.
“The hard truth is that in this region, around 39,000 women die as a result of pregnancy-related complications and around 923,000 children under five die of avoidable causes every year,” said Princess Haya.
“Our development as a region, as individual nations and communities, is dependent on our ability to nurture our children, to give them the best we have to offer, and to ensure they have equal access to education, to health, and to ensure they grow into healthy mothers and fathers, and ultimately, healthy citizens.”