Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Uganda based Health Organization Selected by Canada to Save the Lives of Women and Children

Press Release 
Nairobi, Kenya, November 7, 2014 – The seven-year, CA$36 million Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa (IMCHA) research program today announced the selection of health organizations based in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Burkina Faso that will help put research into practice and bring the program’s results to the attention of decision-makers.

The IMCHA program was launched in May 2014 by Canada’s Minister of Health, the Honourable Rona Ambrose, on behalf of the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie. It is a joint initiative of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).

“Thanks to Canadian leadership and collective global action through the 2010 G8 Muskoka Initiative, we are seeing tangible results for the world’s women and children: fewer mothers are dying, more children are celebrating their fifth birthday, and women and children around the world have better access to quality healthcare,” said the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie. “Canada is building on these results with a $3.5 billion commitment from 2015 to 2020. Supporting research initiatives like this one is key to finding the innovative solutions we need to end the preventable deaths of mothers, newborns and children and ensure that our programs reach those most in need.”

IMCHA is investing in scientific breakthroughs in primary health care to improve the health of women, newborns, and children in sub-Saharan Africa. It will fund approximately 20 research teams.

The selected organizations are: A consortium, which includes the Kenya based African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC); Tanzania- based East, Central and Southern Africa Health Community (ECSA-HC); and Uganda based Partners in Population and Development (PPD)

The West African Health Organization (WAHO), a specialized institution of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)

These organizations will bridge the gap between the research teams and decision-makers in Africa, helping to ensure that research findings are taken up into policy and that health interventions are evidence-based and effective.

“This is an important step forward in turning research into action in sub-Saharan Africa,” says Alain Beaudet, President of CIHR. “By reaching out to decision-makers, these organizations will help innovations in health care be implemented so that the lives of women, children, and newborns can be saved.”

Maternal, newborn, and child health is Canada’s top development priority. Half of the world’s maternal, newborn, and child deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa. Most of these deaths can be prevented by strengthening health systems on the frontlines, where primary health care is provided.

According to Dr. Alex Ezeh, APHRC’s Executive Director, "Current research shows the value of investing in a holistic approach to maternal and child health issues through public-private partnerships, reinforcing the capacity of health workers closest to mothers and children, finding innovative ways of reaching vulnerable groups, and strengthening health governance at all levels. Moving forward, getting this evidence to drive policy decisions and programmatic actions will make all the difference."

“This made-in-Canada collaboration brings leading Canadian researchers together with their colleagues in the developing world to improve the lives of women and children,” said IDRC President Jean Lebel. “The program will make health systems stronger and more accessible in the area of frontline primary health care, where it is needed most.”

Research on pressing health issues to improve the lives of mothers, newborns, and children will focus on nine sub-Saharan African countries targeted in the Muskoka Initiative: Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, South Sudan, and Tanzania.

Media Enquiries:
Gloria Lihemo
Communications and Public Affairs Officer, International Development Research Centre
Regional Office for sub-Saharan Africa / /+254 727 903 983/ 

Bibiana Iraqi
Communications Officer, the African Population and Health Research Center / +254 702 643 448 / 

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