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Monday, 23 November 2009
Page: 8559


Senator MOORE (3:38 PM) —I move:

That the Senate:

(a)   notes the Government’s increase of total health funding in the foreign aid budget and its support for maternal, newborn and child health and acknowledges that this is much needed when in our region, including South Asia, 200 000 mothers and 3.2 million children are dying every year from preventable causes;

(b)   notes that:

(i)   Australia still requires a strong commitment to provide health funding through the foreign aid budget to progress towards Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5 by 2015,

(ii)   MDG 4, to reduce child mortality by two-thirds, and MDG 5, to reduce maternal mortality by three-quarters, have made slow progress and are off-track to being achieved by 2015,

(iii)   MDG 5 has made virtually no progress globally and has reversed in most of sub-Saharan Africa in the past 20 years, and

(iv)   the health MDGs are achievable but require increased effort and greater cooperation from all developing and developed countries, given that evidence indicates that successful proven, cost-effective strategies exist that can reduce child deaths by at least 60 per cent and maternal deaths by 75 per cent, saving the lives of 240 000 children and 26 000 mothers in our immediate region each year;

(c)   acknowledges the Australian Government’s support for health systems in the Asia-Pacific region (through coordinated mechanisms including the international Health Partnership) to ensure that adequate, coordinated, long-term and predictable donor resources are available in each developing country in our region;

(d)   recognises that greater focus must be placed on training health professionals and midwives to ensure significant reductions in newborn, child and maternal mortality and that system strengthening must also be ensured to provide incentives for staff to remain in country and in areas of need; and

(e)   recognises that continued Australian commitment to maternal and child health is required to support the provision of basic health services and strengthened health systems and that this will demonstrate Australia’s leadership and commitment to ending the preventable deaths of children and mothers globally.

Question agreed to.