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 The "Safe Motherhood Month" Campaign to be observed in Ethiopia between January 9 and February 7 was launched today by the President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, H.E. Girma Woldegiorgis.


Launching the campaign the President said that in the few years remaining to the year set to achieve the MDGs in 2015 "the government will work closely with national and international partners to realize programmes developed to reduce maternal and infant mortality as well as poverty." He added that joint efforts need to be exerted to make sure that mothers and children get the necessary services in this respect from health institutions at different levels.

The Safe Motherhood Month Campaign was launched at the United Nations Conference Center here in Addis Ababa and the campaign promotes the theme "No Woman Should Die While Giving Life." The one month campaign is an advocacy initiative aimed at raising awareness that maternal and infant mortality resulting from pregnancy and childbirth related causes is preventable. The Ministry of Health disclosed that the campaign will be observed at the national and regional level in the country with different activities earnestly addressing the prevention and control of common diseases afflicting mothers and infants.

In her keynote address on the occasion, Representative of the World Health Organization and co-chair of the Health, Population and Nutrition Group in Ethiopia, Dr. Fatumata Nafo-Traore, underlined that "safe motherhood is not only a health but also human rights issue." She mentioned that family planning, ante-natal care, clean/safe delivery and emergency obstetric care constitute the pillars of safe motherhood and noted that "these should be delivered through the primary health care and should rest on a foundation of greater equity for women."

The Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, the President of the Ethiopian Islamic Affairs Supreme Council, President of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church, and a representative of the Archbishop of the Ethiopian Catholic Church expressed their support for the cause of safe motherhood in the remarks they made they made on the occasion.

The launching event of the Safe Motherhood Month Campaign was attended by high level government officials, members of the diplomatic corps, and representatives of UN agencies, governmental as well as not governmental organizations.