Call to Action - Canadian Leaders Should Increase their Leadership Role byplacing Maternal, Newborn and Child health on the 2008 G8 Agenda

    OTTAWA, June 27 /CNW Telbec/ - This coming July 7-9, 2008 will see the
world's most powerful leaders convene in Hokkaido, Japan. The Society of
Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada call on Canada's representatives to
ensure that Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5, focused on reducing child
and maternal mortality and improving maternal, newborn, and child health,
receive the much needed attention they deserve.

    The Issue: Every year, over 560,000 women die during pregnancy and
childbirth. Over 99% of these preventable deaths occur in the developing
world. For each woman that dies, 30 women suffer a debilitating injury due to
complications in pregnancy and childbirth. When women die, children, families,
communities, and nations suffer.

    "Millennium Development Goal No.5, to improve maternal and newborn
    health, is the only MDG that has not seen any significant progress. It is
    also critical to progress in MDG No.4 especially in newborn health. The
    time to act is now."

                             Dr. Dorothy Shaw, President of the
                             International Federation of Obstetrics and

    The Call to Action: Canada's government is making a difference. Through
the Catalytic Initiative to Save a Million Lives the Canadian government has
demonstrated commendable initiative in responding to the needs of women and
children worldwide. We encourage the Canadian government to further increase
their historical leadership role and ensure that maternal newborn and child
health take their rightful place on the agenda at the upcoming G8. While the
SOGC volunteers its time, knowledge, and expertise in Canada and abroad,
Canadian political leaders must now increase the amount of Official
Development Assistance (ODA) to 0.7% of GDP in order to reach the United
Nations Millennium Development Goals. These funds must be directly attributed
to health programs for women, not initiatives with an indirect link to women's
health (e.g. national defense). It has been determined that 10.2 billion
dollars a year will save over 6 million lives and allow us to reach MDG's 4
and 5 by the target date of 2015. The upcoming G8 meeting in Japan provides a
perfect opportunity for Canada to take responsibility as a leader and to
ensure that maternal, newborn and child health and the Millennium Development
Goals are a key priority to be discussed.

    "The SOGC is willing to collaborate, using its international expertise to
work with the Canadian Government to make the Catalytic Initiative to Save a
Million Lives a success".
                             Dr. André Lalonde, Executive Vice President,
                             The Society of Obstetricians and
                             Gynaecologists of Canada.

    The Millennium Development Goals (MDG's):

    In the year 2000, international leaders agreed to support eight MDG's to
improve the lives and health of the world's most destitute. They aim to combat
poverty, improve health and education, and fight gender discrimination and
disease as well as climate change and to demonstrate significant progress in
the development of nations. While all 8 goals are worthy and interconnected,
MDG's 4 and 5 are of particular interest to the SOGC as they are focused on
reducing child and maternal mortality and improving maternal, newborn and
child health.

    The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) has over
3,000 members including obstetricians, gynaecologists, family doctors, nurses
and midwives who acknowledge their obligation to contribute to delivering a
better world for women and encourage Canadian political leaders to do the
same. Now is the time to take greater responsibility and make a difference in
the lives of women and children around the world. Canada has not done enough.
The health of tomorrow depends on the actions of today. Investing in women

For further information:

For further information: Mike Haymes, Media Relations Officer, SOGC,
(403) 671-5613,; Natalie Wright, Director of Communications
and Public Education, SOGC, (613) 240-0169,

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Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada

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