CSOs come together in South Africa to stop mothers and children dying from preventable causes.

Tuesday 13 May 2014

An Advocacy and Campaigning Meeting on Maternal Newborn and Child Health for Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) took place in South Africa on 13th May 2014, hosted by Save the Children South Africa.  With the kind support of the South African National Department of Health, the meeting purposely coincided with the Department’s quarterly Maternal Newborn and Child Health review meeting to ensure leading newborn, child and maternal health experts and activists could attend.

The group included representatives from 14 organisations including UNICEF; Futures Group; RMCH; Soul City Institute; Path; Yezingane Network; Mothers to Mothers; AMREF; Khet’Impilo; WITS Priceless Project; Zoe Life; the Society of Midwives of South Africa; Neonatal Nurses Association of Southern Africa; and Save the Children South Africa. The objective of the meeting was to reach a common understanding of Maternal Newborn and Child Health challenges and solutions in the South African context.

During the course of the meeting this vibrant Civil Society group shared current plans and discussed the upcoming opportunities for joint campaigning and advocacy. The group started to develop an exciting campaign action plan focussing on key upcoming moments like the global Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Partners Forum which will be chaired by Graca Machel and co-hosted with the Government of South Africa.  The forum will see the launch of a new global international plan to tackle newborn deaths – The Every Newborn Action Plan. The forum will take place in Johannesburg  from 30 June – 1st July.

Other key moments will centre on the 500 day mark to the Millennium Development Goals deadline of 2015. The campaign will focus specifically on improving new-born survival rates in in South Africa as well as other issues such as improving nutrition and the low rate of exclusive breastfeeding. If you are interested in supporting the activities or joining the group please visit www.savethechildren.org.za for updates or email alice.macdonald@savethechildren.org

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