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According to the health official, the conference, which has been organised in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO), is an important one that will have positive results on the health of mothers and children.

&8220;The conference is a great opportunity for all the member states to exchange experiences and information and reach productive recommendations and conclusions. The purpose is to reduce the rates of maternal and neonatal deaths in the Eastern Mediterranean Region.&8221;

Hai Madi, director of Health Protection and Enhancement Department in the Eastern Mediterranean Office of the WHO pointed out that pregnancy and neonatal related reasons are still one of main causes for deaths among women in the region. Each year, about 52,000 mothers die either during pregnancy or after birth shortly. In addition, about 510,000 children die before their first month of birth.

&8220;The UAE has given due importance to the health of mothers and children in different social and educational fields and this proves the ministry&8217;s commitment to secure and improve the health of community members, especially women and children.&8221;

Meanwhile, Dr Hajar Al Hosani, director of Central Administration for Maternity and Childhood at the MoH, said the meeting encouraged all the members of national programmes to enhance pregnancy safety, review the latest technologies and set up the guidelines for women and childhood programmes in the region.

gulftoday/eastern regi,&8220;The United Arab Emirates recorded demographic rates where the rates of babies&8217; deaths after eastern regional healthbirths are less than 10 for every 1,000 birth cases while the death of newborn babies is less than 8 for every 1,000 cases,&8221; said Darmaki, after welcoming the participants to the conference.

&8220;The death rate of children under the age of five is less than 9 for every 1,000 cases. Between 2004 till 2008, we did not record any death cases while the national health programmes for mothers and children have been accredited from international specialised organisations&8221;, he elaborated.

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He also indicated that the region&8217;s health authorities ce the challenges of transferring experiences and knowledge and this requires all the member states to abide by all the joint decisions and recommendations of the WHO.

&8220;The meeting reviewed the accomplishments of the Eastern Mediterranean region in the fields of maternity and childhood. It also discussed information and details about the nagulftoday/eastern regitional strategies for maternal and neonatal health in the region.&8221;

&8220;During the coming days, it will review the national plans of enhancing these programmes in the member states for the years 2011-2015, define the standards of advanced technological aids provided to the regional countries, financial resources and cooperation fields as well&8221;, she added.

DUBAI: Dr Salem Al Darmaki, acting undersecretary of the Ministry of Health (MoH) opened the &8216;Inter-Country Meeting for Promoting Maternal and Neonatal Health in the Eastern Mediterranean Region,&8217; on Sunday.

In a statement given by Dr Hussein Al Jazeri, regional director of the WHO for the Eastern Mediterranean Region, he said: &8220;The meeting draws the attention to priority issues in promoting maternal and neonatal health with special emphasis on the strategies and problems that are ced by the Eastern Mediterranean region.&8221;

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