Thursday, September 25, 2014


Senfuka Samuel

Luyiga Faridah -Communications Officer at WRA Uganda speaking at PMNCH Accountability brunch-New York
The 69th Session of the UN General Assembly is convening in New York City from 16th September to 31st October 2014. It is convening at a time when the deadline to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set in 2000 is remaining with less than 500 days. One of the agendas at this 69th session is that Governments around the world are sitting to reflect on delivery of their commitments to their citizens as they deliberate on new development targets beyond 2015. 

During this session, White Ribbon Alliance (WRA) for Safe Motherhood is working with other civil society advocates to ensure that global leaders do not talk to themselves alone but also give space and listen to what citizens want (citizens' voice) to be in the new Health Development Agenda. WRA's pressure exerted on the usual suspects (the familiar faces at UN top tables) to give up their speaking slots to citizens' voice yielded some results with appreciation. Ray Chambers, Special Envoy on Malaria to Secretary General of UN moved over for a citizen leader, Flavia Bustreo of WHO and Kathy Calvin of UNF gave up their seats to civil society leaders at the Every Women Every Child (EWEC) accountability     reception. Read about WRA Citizens Post-

Faridah Luyiga Mwanje of White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood Uganda was one of the civil society advocate for maternal health spoke on behalf of citizens at Partnership for Maternal Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH) brunch on the sidelines of UN General Assembly in New York. Faridah shared her personal story of losing a sister and her experience as a maternal health advocate which emotionally touched many attentive attendants.

"I thank the PMNCH for this rare opportunity to speak about the work we are doing- with families, with communities, with districts, with midwives, with politicians. Uganda still loses high number of women and newborns due to pregnancy and childbirth related causes. "My sister Remie Wamala bled to death. There was no blood to save her life. It's then that I realized if this level of neglect happens in a high end facility, what is birth like for most of my countrywomen? I joined White Ribbon Alliance where I am campaigning to make birth safe for women and newborns." Luyiga Faridah 
      Faridah reminded all of us that women should be treated with dignity while seeking healthcare with equity in health service delivery. "We should be cognizant of the fact that every woman has the right to quality, respectful, maternity care – and it is the role and responsibility of Govt to fund the provision of that care.
L-R: Dr. Robert C. Orr, UN Assistant Secretary General for Policy Coordination& Strategic Planning, Luyiga Faridah, Communications Officer WRA Uganda, Dr. Margaret Chan, Director General WHO and Richard Horton Editor-in-Chief of The Lancet 
      Government of Uganda Commitment to provide Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care (EmONC)- Faridah said that despite Government's commitment to the UN Global Strategy for Women and Children's Health that half of health centres in Uganda would provide EmONC services, when WRA Uganda surveyed 43 health facilities in Kabale, Lira and Mityana districts it was found NOT ONE health facility (out of 12 health centre IVs) provided comprehensive EmONC- 

      "Our survey brought leaders together with district leaders, health workers and community members; for the first time they began to work together as partners, without fear of blame. I therefore implore you as global leaders and Governments to support the citizens who are working so hard to bring the change needed and wanted in their own countries." Luyiga Faridah

      #ActToSaveMothers #commit2deliver #MDGMomentum #UNGA2014

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