UN urges Uganda to invest more in maternal health, child survival to meet MDG target

09:03, June 17, 2010      

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As Africa observed the Day of the African Child on Wednesday, United Nations agencies in Uganda urged the country to invest more in maternal and child survival to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) target of 2015.

The agencies in a statement issued here said despite gains in reducing the number of child deaths in the East African country, the under-five mortality rate remains high.

Out of every 1,000 babies born, 137 will not live to celebrate their fifth birthday. Out of every 100,000 live births, an estimated 435 mothers die due to complications experienced during or shortly after a pregnancy.

"To save children's lives we need to address the health of their mothers. There is an inextricable link between maternal and child survival", said UN Resident Coordinator in Uganda Theophane Nikyema.

The agencies said that while Uganda has made progress towards achieving the MDG on universal primary education, a firm commitment and investment in the health sector will ensure achievement of MDG 4 and 5.

MDG 4 targets the reduction of the mortality rate among children under five by two-thirds while MDG 5 targets reduction of maternal mortality ratio by three-quarters.

This year's Day of the African Child was marked under the theme "Planning and Budgeting for the Wellbeing of the Child: a Collective Responsibility".

The Day is honored in memory of thousands of black school children in South Africa who were maimed and killed in the 1976 Soweto uprising, as they took to the streets to protest the inferior quality of their education and to demand their right to be taught in their own language.

The Day which falls on June 16 every year also aims at drawing attention to the lives of African children.

Source: Xinhua


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