June 23, 2014

2014 Partners’ Forum to Unite Champions from more than 40 countries Around Action Plan for Women’s and Children’s Health

This press release originally appeared on the PMNCH website here.

From June 30 – July 1, 2014, global health professionals, policy makers, business leaders, advocates and youth leaders will gather for the third Partners’ Forum in Johannesburg, South Africa. The meeting will be a pivotal moment to review progress, identify factors for success, and agree on commitments for action to help women, newborns, children and adolescents survive and thrive. For example, new investments in innovation and expanded access to relatively simple and well-known interventions, like midwifery services, can improve health, save lives, and lead to sustained development.

While women and children’s health and survival rates have improved steadily over the past years, we still face challenges. Each year:

  • An estimated 289,000 women still die as a result of complications in pregnancy and childbirth
  • Nearly 3 million babies do not survive their first month of life and 2.6 million are stillborn
  • 6.6 million children do not live to see their fifth birthday

The Forum will be chaired by Graça Machel, Chair of The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH) and Ambassador for A Promise Renewed. The meeting will be hosted by the Government of South Africa in partnership with PMNCH; USAID and UNICEF for A Promise Renewed; Countdown to 2015; and the independent Expert Review Group.

The meeting follows Saving Every Woman Every Child: Within Arm’s Reach, the international Summit hosted by Canada (May 28-30, Toronto) where global leaders from every sector will shape the future of child and maternal health collaborations in Canada and around the world. Participants will review progress in maternal, newborn and child survival, and make recommendations to ensure that key investments are maintained within the post-2015 global development framework.

With new global commitments, partners working across health and related fields will be well-positioned to use the Johannesburg Forum to unite global efforts to prioritize action and accountability for the health and well-being of every woman and every child. Confirmed speakers for the Partners’ Forum include: Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway, co-chair, Millennium Development Goals Advocacy Group; Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, Honourable Minister of Health, Federal Republic of Nigeria; HRH Princess Sarah Zeid of Jordan; Margaret Chan, Director-General, World Health Organization; Philippe Douste-Blazy, Special Advisor to the United Nations Secretary-General on Innovative Finance for Development; and Christopher Elias, President for Global Development, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Partners’ Forum will include the launch of four landmark reports:

  • Every Newborn Action Plan provides roadmap and joint platform for reducing preventable newborn deaths and stillbirths.
  • Success Factors for Women’s and Children’s Health Report spotlights 10 countries making considerable progress improving maternal and child health, and offering a model for high-need countries.
  • Countdown to 2015 Report for 2014 assesses maternal and child health intervention, coverage, equity in coverage, and the policy, health systems, and financial factors that affect whether every woman and child receives proven interventions that can save their lives.
  • State of the World’s Midwifery 2014 (Africa focused launch) highlights progress and challenges that 41 Sub-Saharan countries have seen since 2011 in delivering life-saving midwifery services.