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Compiled by Devina Haripersad

Senior Business/Finance journalist

Experts worldwide to attend conference in Cape Town on reducing neonatal deaths

The conference will bring together experts to share their invaluable knowledge with attendees.

Cape Town will play host to the inaugural International Maternal Newborn Health Conference (IMNHC), which will bring together 1 800 delegates from around the world to accelerate solutions to improve maternal and newborn survival and prevent stillbirths.

The conference is being hosted by the SA government and AlignMNH – a global initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

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The conference will bring together experts in the health of mothers and newborns to share their invaluable knowledge with attendees.

2030 sustainable development goals targets

The Department of Health will be hosting the conference on behalf of government, as part of what it said was a series of interventions towards the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals targets on reducing preventable maternal and neonatal deaths.

According to the Lancet Stillbirths Series 2021, there were 14 stillbirths per 1 000 total births in South Africa, which translates to an estimated 23 500 stillbirths per year.

The IMNHC conference will focus on critical topics such as improving the quality of care for mothers and newborns, addressing equity and rights-based approaches, and fostering partnerships to drive progress.

Participants will also discuss ways to improve maternal and newborn health in humanitarian and fragile settings, as well as strategies for tackling the rising burden of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.

An important moment for the maternal community

“IMNHC 2023 marks an important moment for the maternal newborn health community,” says Dr Musimbi Kanyoro, President and CEO of Global Fund for Women.

“By coming together to share knowledge, experiences, and best practices, we can accelerate progress towards the 2030 goals and ensure that every woman and newborn has access to the care they need to thrive.”

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He also said that the conference is a chance to release the first joint progress report from the EPMM (Ending Preventable Maternal Mortality) Initiative and ENAP (Every Newborn Action Plan).

“This report will set the foundation for more progress and bring everyone together on the same goals. It will also help hold future meetings accountable for their progress,” he concluded.

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