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Centre for Global Child Health

SickKids celebrates progress made in global child health at first ever Global Maternal Newborn Health Conference in Mexico City

On October 18-21, 2015, SickKids’ Centre for Global Child Health members joined the first ever Global Maternal Newborn Health Conference in Mexico City. One thousand researchers, technical experts, policy makers and journalists from 50 countries came together to discuss strategies to help reach mothers and newborns with quality healthcare in the hardest to reach areas of the world. As the first conference since the United Nations adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (2015-2030) in September, the meeting offered an opportunity to strategize on how to meet the new post-2015 health goals and translate commitments into concrete action.

The Global Maternal Newborn Health Conference was an opportunity for the Centre for Global Child Health to showcase the relevant work its members have been involved with and to engage with important stakeholders in global health.

Dr. Zulfiqar A. Bhutta, the Robert Harding Chair in Global Child Health who directs research activities at the Centre, presented the Countdown to 2015 Final Report, which includes case studies from 75 countries with the highest burden of maternal, newborn and child mortality. The report was a multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional collaboration that used country-specific data to stimulate and support country progress towards achieving the health-related Millennium Development Goals (2000-2015). Dr. Bhutta is one of the authors of ‘Countdown to 2015: a decade of tracking progress for maternal, newborn, and child survival’ and ‘Moving ahead: what will a renewed Countdown to 2030 for Women and Children look like?’ both published in The Lancet. Click the images below to read the articles.


Dr. Bhutta provided an overview of the new Countdown to 2015 Report to journalists at a pre-conference media workshop. Read Dr. Bhutta’s interview with Al Jazeera on the progress that has been made in maternal, newborn and child survival: Q&A: Mother-infant health progress requires no magic.


At the conference, Dr. Bhutta also moderated a plenary session entitled ‘Benefiting Mothers and Newborns through Integrated Care’. You can watch the full panel here: http://goo.gl/1UpLIJ.


Nadia Akseer, Biostatistician at the Centre for Global Child Health, presented on ‘Achieving Maternal and Child Health Gains in Afghanistan: a Countdown Case Study in Resilience’, as part of Countdown to 2015. Afghanistan is one of 75 Countdown countries, which together account for more than 95% of the global burden of maternal, newborn and child death. The Countdown to 2015 report shows that progress has been impressive in some areas, but also highlights the vast areas of unfinished business that must be prioritized in the post-2015 framework. Read Nadia’s blog published in the Huffington Post: Countdown To 2015: A Future Of Hope For Afghanistan.


Dr. Lisa Pell, Clinical Research Project Manager at the Centre for Global Child Health, presented a poster on ‘Community-Based Delivery of an Innovative Neonatal Kit to Save Newborn Lives and Improve Neurodevelopment in Rural Pakistan and Kenya: Methodology and Early Results of Two Cluster Randomized Trials’. You can read Dr. Pell's abstract here: http://goo.gl/qEcWWP.


Brian Smith, Director of Capacity Building at the Centre for Global Child Health, moderated a panel session entitled ‘Using Data Visualization to Improve Maternal and Newborn Health Outcomes’.

Throughout the four-day conference, the Centre for Global Child Health was active on Twitter (@SickKidsGlobal) in order to share this exciting work and activity.

Watch all Maternal Newborn Health Conference plenaries and the opening and closing sessions at http://goo.gl/cRl8Kp and follow the global health conversation on Twitter @SickKidsGlobal #Globalmnh.