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PM Opens Regional Conference on Reproductive Health

Hon. Prime Minister Opens Regional Conference on Reproductive Health

The Prime Minister of Vanuatu, the Honourable Charlot Salwai officially opened the 12th bi-ennial regional conference of the Pacific Society for Reproductive Health at the Vanuatu National Convention Centre in Port Vila yesterday. “Vanuatu has made huge progress in national development despite the many struggles and challenges. We are continuing to invest in areas to improve our national maternal child health programme,” the Hon Charlot Salwai said.

The workshops and conference of 6 days is attended by 320 health professionals from across 12 Pacific Island countries. The theme of the conference is “Reproductive Health and the Sustainable Development Goals – catalysts for accelerating progress, articulates the strategic position of “Reproductive Health” in the era of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The SDG is the global agenda for improving health and socio-economic well-being for all peoples of all nations in the next 15-year period, leaving no one behind. It aims to achieve key development targets by the year 2030. Health and development is a the centre of the 17 goals of the ADG agenda. Vanuatu is one of the more-than 180 countries that signed up to the SDGs in September 2015 at the World Health Assembly in New York.

The conference runs from 16-18th July. Prior to this a series of six technical workshops ran in parallel from the 13-15th July which built skills in the key areas of emergency maternal and newborn, clinical research, family planning, colposcopy, ultrasound scanning, and perineal suturing.

The conference will discuss catalysts for change to accelerate progress in improve services and outcomes for mothers and newborns and other elements of reproductive health in the Pacific region. Key areas of discussion include professional leadership, prevention of maternal and newborn deaths, ongoing professional development, midwifery development, gender-based violence, improvement of services in maternal-newborn care, health workforce development and much more.

Key speakers from Europe and Pacific-rim countries shared knowledge and skills with their Pacific clinician counterparts building capacity in knowledge and skills.

The conference program is filled with interesting and wide-ranging series of presentations and discussions on important topics – such as adolescent health, maternal death surveillance and response, gender-based violence, family planning, quality care in pregnancy and childbirth, cervical cancer, non-communicable diseases, workforce and leadership. The conference is supported by the Pacific Community, United Nations Population Fund and the government of Vanuatu.

The conference closes on Tuesday 18th July.

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