Gates Foundation to spend USD 1.5bn on women`s health
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Last Updated: Tuesday, June 08, 2010, 14:49
Washington: To support maternal and child health, family planning and nutrition programmes, the Gates Foundation has announced that it will invest USD 1.5 billion over the next five years in developing countries.

"The world must come together to save women's and children's lives. In poor countries, pregnancy and childbirth often end in tragedy. Our goal must be to build a world where every birth brings joy and hope for the future," Melinda Gates said in a statement which was welcomed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Applauding the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for the announcement of USD 1.5 billion for women and children's health, Clinton said, "We share their commitment to making maternal, newborn and child health a priority. Focusing on women is not only the right thing to do, but it is also the smart thing to do, because investing in the health of women also improves the health of their families and communities."

Clinton said, "That is why the Obama Administration has developed the Global Health Initiative to strengthen programmes that serve women and girls. The Initiative integrates and coordinates our health and development programmes -- including family planning, maternal and child health, and nutrition -- in order to build health systems and reach ambitious new targets."

Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, discussed her vision for maternal and child health in a speech at the Women Deliver 2010 conference, an international meeting of policymakers, health experts, and advocates.

Gates said it is critical to challenge the notion that large numbers of maternal and child deaths are inevitable, or even acceptable, in poor countries.

"Every year, millions of newborns die within a matter of days or weeks, and hundreds of thousands of women die in childbirth," Gates said.

"The death toll is so huge, and has persisted for so long, it's easy to think we're powerless to do much about it. The truth is, we can prevent most of these deaths - and at a stunningly low cost - if we take action now," Gates added.


First Published: Tuesday, June 08, 2010, 14:49

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