”Still an important job to do”

Norway’s Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg today receives Bill Gates for meetings in Oslo on international health. “Our efforts for maternal and child health have seen concrete and impressing results. But we still have not reached our goals”, says Stoltenberg.

Over the last decade, millions of human lives have been saved, not least because of vaccination. Via the vaccine alliance GAVI, Norway and Bill Gates have in this period seen a unique cooperation to increase the access to vaccines in developing countries.

On Tuesday, Stoltenberg and Gates will meet at a conference Oslo’s Astrup Fearnley Museum. The aim is to map out the road ahead for the efforts to reduce maternal and child mortality in developing countries.

“We still have an important job to do. We should now use our experience to see what works and what does not. We should see to it that every dollar spent for health efforts, is used as efficiently as possible. And we should see to it that our efforts are not reduced, says Stoltenberg.

While global efforts for maternal and child health saw a gradual rise from 1997 to 2010 to USD 26 billion, there was a three per cent reduction in 2011. Stoltenberg says this causes concern.

“Countries with rapidly growing economies should contribute more themselves. Also, we need more state-private cooperation, of which GAVI is an excellent example”, says Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg.

 

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