Thursday, September 23, 2010

Finally, a Bit for Women's and Children's Health

The United Nations Summit ended yesterday, on a good note, I tihnk. This is where countries throughout the world unite to discuss the Millennium Development Goals. The theme is currently: End Poverty 2015.

Over the next five years, the UN committed a huge contribution to women's and children's health, totaling more than $40 billion.

The Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health states that this amount can potentially "save more than 16 million women's and children's lives, prevent 33 million unwanted pregnancies, and protect 120 millions of children from pneumonia and 88 million children from stunting." The money will also be used in the control of infectious diseases and increasing access for women and children to "quality facilities" and "skilled health workers."

It is inconceivable that we are still so far behind in providing health care for women and children in developing countries. In the past gi-normous amounts of money have already been spent on women's and children's health. Sometimes, the money has surely not been spent effectively. Sometimes, the money has probably been misdirected or lost in bureaucratic administrations. And, of course, often the money has been doled out to simply provide health care, without any parallel provisions, such as empowerment of the women and children via education. I believe the education of girls needs to be addressed alongside the provision of adequate health care. Without education it is likely that recommendations from health care workers are not understood properly. (Education is another millennium goal.)

But, this is a step in the right direction, and a big one. Hopefully this worldwide combined effort really will be able to make a difference in the lives of many women and children around the world.

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