18/10/2013 08:08

Conference on the role of men in maternal and child health (Port Moresby 22-23 Oct. 2013)

By National Catholic Health and HIV Services

16 OCT 2013. Traditionally in Papua New Guinea, most matters related to pregnancy, childbirth and child rearing have been left to the women in families; generally, men have not played much of a role.

However, there is growing recognition that men have a critical role to play in maternal and child health.

To encourage greater participation of men in maternal and child health – and importantly to foster healthier families and reduce mortality rates – a conference will be held in Port Moresby next week.

Hosted by National Catholic Health and HIV Services and the Burnet Institute, with funding by Global Fund, the conference will be held at Emmaus Conference Centre (Don Bosco) in Boroko on 22-23 October.

The conference will look at the current participation of men in maternal and child health, the challenges and risks to getting them more involved, and strategies to encourage greater male involvement.

Former World Kickboxing Champion and father of two, Stanley Nandex will give the keynote address.

Other speakers represent a diverse range of experiences, from community-level involvement to service delivery, government, policy setting, research and advocacy.

Why is this conference important?

Every day, five women in Papua New Guinea die of avoidable child birth-related causes.

Sixty one children under the age of five die of preventable illnesses for every 1,000 live births.

These are some of the highest mortality rates in the Asia and Pacific regions.

While there has been some marginal improvement over the past few years, far too many mothers and children die each year.

So many that Papua New Guinea is unlikely to meet its commitments to Millennium Development Goal 5 by 2015.

Yet while these figures are shocking, even more distressing is that each of these deaths has a personal story attached to it: of mothers and wives who are no longer with their families; of infants who won’t get to live full and productive lives.

It is expected that this conference will address many of the issues that contribute to high mortality rates and it will suggest realistic strategies of going forward.

For information on this conference contact:

National Catholic Health and HIV Services

Justine McMahon

Tel: +675 76978176

Email: justinemcmahon@hotmail.com