TORONTO, March 6, 2014 /CNW/ -
World Vision's President and CEO, Dave Toycen, said:
"Yesterday I nervously awaited the birth of our next grandchild and anticipated the moment when I would get to hold this new baby in my arms. And when I was able to do so, I was so impressed by the professionalism, the facilities and how everything was in place to ensure human life. After seeing life and death struggles in so many places in the developing world, it's a combination of feeling so fortunate with what we have in Canada, but at the same time, it tugs at your conscience that other babies and mothers don't have this opportunity in every part of the world. I was reminded of a similar moment in a hospital in Afghanistan. Pandemonium broke out while I was getting a tour of the neo-natal unit when a newborn baby stopped breathing and turned blue. A doctor and a nurse leapt into action to revive this little one right before my eyes. This was one of 20 resuscitations done in the unit every day. Had it not been for this hospital that baby and countless others would not have survived.
Millions of women still give birth in rural communities without any support, so we're encouraged to hear the Government of Canada is convening a high-level meeting on global health in May. This is an opportunity for Canada to bring global leaders to Toronto and develop a roadmap for tackling poverty issues and accelerating progress on child and maternal health in the post-2015 timeframe. We've seen great progress in saving the lives of children and mothers through the efforts of the Muskoka Initiative and Canada's global leadership on the WHO Accountability Commission. Yet, we know that 6.6 million children are still dying every year from preventable causes. To get to those most marginalized children, life-saving health services need to reach farther and track results better. That's why it's so important that Canada convene these leaders to come together for a final push to end preventable deaths.
We know the work that needs to be done must focus on newborns, improved nutrition and reaching the most marginalized children and mothers—many of whom live in places like Afghanistan, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. As the 2015 deadline looms, this Summit gives Canada the opportunity to take the Muskoka Initiative a step further to strengthen health services and statistics right down to the community level. We encourage Canada to leverage existing and new partnerships to ensure that the most remote and vulnerable women and children can access things like immunizations, skilled birth attendants, good nutrition and health checkups around the time of birth.
With more than 600,000 supporters, we know Canadians care about fighting poverty overseas and improving the health of women and children overseas. This event gives Canada the opportunity to reflect the values of Canadians by continuing to be a global leader on such important issues and reach vulnerable children and families, many of whom still live in unimaginable poverty."
World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. Visit our News Centre at worldvision.ca
SOURCE: World Vision Canada
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Tiffany Baggetta (Mobile: 416-305-9612)