Saturday, June 01, 2013

Malaysia praised over maternal, child health


KUALA LUMPUR (May 29, 2013): Malaysia can be a "light for other countries in the region" when it comes to maternal, newborn and child heath, international health experts said today.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Malaysia has made tremendous progress by achieving the United Nations-prescribed Milennium Development Goals (MDG) of "improving maternal care" and "lowering child mortality".
In a press conference at the "Women Deliver Third Global Conference" here today, WHO Maternal, Newborn, Adolescent and Child Health director Dr Elizabeth Mason said Malaysia has lowered its child mortality rate from some 300 per 100,000 births to only 29 per 100,000 births.
"In addition, there are only less than 10 neonatal deaths per 1,000 births," she said.
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine maternal reproductive and child health director Prof Joy Lawn said Malaysia should look at improving outcomes for babies after birth, including focusing on child care and education.
"Malaysia should look at what happens after birth in terms of the child's general health. For instance, hearing and motor functions, as it has met all relevant MDGs.
"Also, think of other outcomes for the mother as well. Maternal care is very important in ensuring the child has a healthy life," she added.
Mason congratulated Malaysia for its progress, saying that the country is "on par with many European countries" in this area.
"That said, the media has the responsibility to keep the pressure up to hold parliamentarians to account on people's well being so respective authorities will do their work," she said.

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