Gates Foundation to spend USD 1.5bn on women`s health

Last Updated: Tuesday, June 8, 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.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, June 8, 2010 - 14:49

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