Maternal and newborn health secures parliamentary mandate

Leaders of 119 national parliaments have stated they will prioritise resources to improve maternal and newborn health in the developing world.

The resolution came after members at the 126th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly sat for three days in Kampala, Uganda. Ministers hope the agreement will be enough to meet the targets set out in Millennium Development Goals (MDG) 4 and 5 by 2015.

MDG 4 aims to decrease child deaths around the world by two-thirds, while achieving MDG 5 would mean a reduction in the maternal mortality rate by three-quarters during the next three years.

Many countries in Africa have high maternal and child mortality rates and without improvements, will fail to meet these goals.

The new ruling will mean that, for the first time, it is now a parliamentary mandate to improve the situation.

This mandate could result in more women across Africa being attended to by healthcare professionals during labour and birth.