Press Releases

    GA/SM/353
    OBV/476
    8 April 2005

    Future of Societies Depends on Improving Health of Every Mother and Child, Says General Assembly President, in World Health Day Message

    NEW YORK, 7 April (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the message of Jean Ping (Gabon), President of the General Assembly, for World Health Day, observed 7 April:

    Hundreds of thousands of women and millions of children die every year because they do not have access to quality health care.

    In developing countries, pregnancy and childbirth are among the first causes of women’s death, and 1 out of 12 children die before the age of five.

    The international community cannot be indifferent to this situation, which continues to remind us, five years after the Millennium Declaration, that much progress remains to be achieved to reduce maternal death and child mortality by 2015.  To give hope for a better life to millions of women and children, the world community must act together.

    I, therefore, commend the World Health Organization (WHO) for having chosen as its slogan for World Health Day 2005 “Making every mother and child count”.  This is an appeal to governments and to the international community as a whole to improve the living conditions of women and children, particularly in developing countries.

    We must, indeed, continue to mobilize ourselves to increase financial, material and technical assistance from international financial and development institutions, as well as from donors, with a view to improving the health care of millions of women and children around the world.

    The welfare and the future of our societies depend on our capacity to remain mobilized so as to improve the health of every mother and child.

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