Maternal Health in the Pacific
Cross-Party Parliamentarians' Group Announces Hearing on Maternal Health in the Pacific
Wellington, 10th May 2009: On Mother's Day, the New Zealand Parliamentarians' Group on Population and Development (NZPPD) announced it will be holding an 'Open Hearing on Maternal Health in the Pacific' on 21st September 2009 at the New Zealand Parliament.
The overall aim of the Open Hearing is to increase action and investment in maternal health and related issues in the Pacific region by New Zealand and other stakeholders.
"Every minute, worldwide, another woman dies in pregnancy or childbirth. This is overwhelmingly a preventable tragedy that we must do more to end", says Dr Jackie Blue, NZPPD Chair.
An invitation for written and oral submissions and terms of reference for the Open Hearing will be available shortly on Family Planning International's website www.fpi.org.nz. The submissions will then be heard by NZPPD members and selected observers during the one day Open Hearing. A report, including information, evidence, and concrete recommendations on maternal health in the Pacific, will be disseminated widely and used to catalyse action.
"Maternal health is one of the major development challenges of our time. It is crucial that New Zealand commit to investing more in maternal health in the Pacific region. Concerted efforts by governments and donors are needed urgently to reduce the tragic deaths of Pacific women simply because they are pregnant", says Joanna Spratt, NZPPD Secretariat, Family Planning International.
The NZPPD has a strategic focus on international population and development issues, with a particular focus on the wider Pacific region. The focus of the Open Hearing will not be on maternal health domestically in New Zealand.