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Global plans to boost mother-baby health

Mon April 13th, 2009

British experts are hoping to boost care of new mothers and their babies in five troubled countries with the aid of a new grant.

Experts will travel to Zimbabwe, Kenya, Bangladesh, India and Sierra Leone with a view to improving training and recruitment of midwives, doctors and other health workers.

They have gained a grant worth some 2.8 million UK pounds from the British government's department for international development.

Experts from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine will work with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists on the project.

Dr Nynke van den Broek, from the Liverpool school, said the reasons why women and babies die are largely known.

She said: "A skilled birth attendant – a doctor or midwife – and the availability of essential obstetric and newborn care are critical to reducing maternal and newborn deaths.

"We will be working in partnership with the Ministry of Health and sister professional associations in each country to improve national capacity to deliver good quality care.

"Put simply, increasing the provision of skilled birth attendance and appropriate obstetric and newborn care will reduce the numbers of women and children dying in childbirth."

She added: "With this grant we will be able to increase the number of skilled health professionals providing high quality maternal and neonatal care and generate more demand for these services amongst women, as well as improving data on maternal and newborn health to influence policy at national and international levels."

Tags: UK News | Child Health | Childbirth and Pregnancy | Nursing & Midwifery | Women’s Health & Gynaecology | Africa | Asia

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