Speaker, recently the Potchefstroom Hospital convened the Campaign on Accelerated Reduction of Maternal, Newborn and Child Mortality in Africa, the Carmma Summit. Under the theme "North West province cares: No woman should die while giving life", the summit explored methods designed to curb high maternal, perinatal and under-five morbidity and mortality.
Carmma is an initiative of the African Union Commission to curb the high pregnancy-related death rate on our continent. It was launched at continent level during the AU Conference of Ministers of Health in May 2009 in Ethiopia, under the theme "Universal access to quality health services: Improve maternal, neonatal and child health".
The World Health Organisation estimates that as many as 1 500 women die worldwide every day due to complications related to pregnancy or childbirth. Similarly, 10 000 babies die per day within the first month of life, and an equal number of babies are born dead. More than 90% of these deaths occur in developing countries, most of them in Africa. A worrying concern is that the large number of deaths has preventable causes.
Delegates engaged robustly on various interventions needed at community, primary healthcare and hospital levels for better health outcomes, and they shared reports on saving mothers, babies and children. [Time expired.] [Applause.]