First Lady Dr Christine Kaseba has expressed concern that the Millennium Development Goals, MDGS, on health may not be achieved by the year 2015.
Dr Kaseba said this is because nothing much has been done to achieve these goals adding that most people in Sub Sahara Africa still leave in poverty.
ZANIS reports that the First lady was speaking when she gave a keynote speech at the Global Business Coalition for Health, GBC, at De Beers Corporate Park in Johannesburg yesterday.
She said MDG 4 and 5 relate directly to improvement in maternal and child health.
”The target for goal number 4 is to reduce the under five mortality rate by two thirds. We are also reminded that Goal 5’s target was to reduce maternal mortality by three quarters in the same period. The truth is that, we are unlikely to achieve many of these targets despite the many gains that have been made,” noted Dr Kaseba.
She observed that in order to meet the MDG goals, targeted efforts and investments were needed from the corporate sector.
The First Lady further observed that although funding for health care infrastructure and upgrading of existing facilities had started to trickle, its implementation exercise was being challenged by the incapacity to handle the sudden surge of rising fertility levels.
She said the global picture that emerges from the data relating to child survival was not pretty.
Dr Kaseba also observed that maternal and child deaths and complications were preventable if only upcoming mothers would be provided with access to modern family planning services to prevent unwanted pregnancies.
”This is why we are here today to confirm that there is need for special focus on advances in science and technology, breakthroughs and ideas that will drive down these horrible statistics and make it possible to reach more people and save more lives than ever before,” she said.
Dr Kaseba challenged the GBC Health to offer solutions reminiscent of business professionals.
She said by harnessing the ever present business platform, countries could dramatically expand the reach of care by giving any woman with a cell phone, the chance to deliver her child safely.
Dr Kaseba said she believed that in the new era with help, many people could live longer by simply saving their lives at birth and when giving birth.
”This is an era of transformational leadership in the business world. Its an era where business leaders influence, inspire, motivate and provide intellectual stimulation not only to their organisations but also in communities where they conduct businesses,” she said.
And speaking earlier, South African First Lady Bongi Ngema-Zuma said there was need to channel business resources were they were required most.
She bemoaned that diabetes was now on the increase and that many people were succumbing to it because of lack of awareness.
She said inequality, poverty and unemployment were some of the problems that South Africa faced and urged the business world to help in addressing the health problems in the communities in which they operated.
And Southern African Development Community, SADC, said its secretariat had strengthened the Public Private partnerships by engaging the private sector to deal with health issues.
SADC Executive Director Tomaz Salomao said SADC had identified strategic areas such as HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria where the private sector was required to help.
The First lady is in South Africa to attend the Global Business Coalition on health member meeting.
GBC Health is a coalition of more than 200 member companies and organisations committed to investing their resources to building a healthier world for their employees and communities in which
The GBC Health is also committed to investing its resources at global level through world-class
meetings, partnership creation, thought leadership and representation in key global health settings.
GBC Health is the established go-to organisation for companies interested in bringing their assets, skills and passion to the quest for a healthier world.