TORONTO, Nov. 28, 2012 /CNW/ - UNICEF Canada is extremely disappointed
Bill C-398 to amend Canada's Access to Medicines Regime (CAMR) failed
to pass second reading in Parliament this evening.
"We are highly disappointed with the result of tonight's vote. This Bill
would have helped get life-saving medicine to the world's most
vulnerable children without any additional costs to the government or
Canadians. This is a missed opportunity and it is children who will
suffer most," says UNICEF Canada's President and CEO David Morley.
Currently only 42 per cent of the estimated 1.5 million infants born
worldwide to mothers with HIV receive the antiretroviral (ARV)
treatments needed to prevent transmission of the disease.
If passed, Bill C-398 would have strengthened Canada's position as a
true global leader on newborn, child and maternal health. The Bill
proposed critical amendments to CAMR removing the unnecessary
bureaucratic hurdles that have made the process impossible to use.
UNICEF Canada has worked tirelessly over the last month meeting with MPs
to educate them on the Bill. Canadians also showed their support of
Bill C-398 with more than 1,200 people supporting UNICEF Canada's
Meds4all campaign in less than a week.
UNICEF Canada was hopeful the Bill would be sent to committee to be
further studied. The Bill is now dead due largely to incorrect
information that has circulated which swayed enough MPs to vote against
"Tonight's vote is out of sync with the leadership Canada has shown
through the Muskoka Initiative on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health
which has done so much to save children's lives around the world. Now
CAMR will remain virtually useless," says Morley. "Although this is a
setback, we will continue to work with everyone involved to ensure
children have better access to life-saving medicines."
UNICEF has saved more children's lives than any other humanitarian
organization. We work tirelessly to help children and their families,
doing whatever it takes to ensure children survive. We provide children
with healthcare and immunization, clean water, and food security,
education, emergency relief and more.
UNICEF is supported entirely by voluntary donations and helps children
regardless of race, religion or politics. As part of the UN, we are
active in over 190 countries - more than any other organization. Our
determination and our reach are unparalleled. Because nowhere is too
far to go to help a child survive.
SOURCE: UNICEF Canada
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