Prime Minister Stephen Harper this week hosted a high-profile conference in Toronto to mark the fourth anniversary of the Muskoka Initiative (Child Maternal Health Initiative). It is a global effort to reduce maternal mortality and improve the health of mothers and children in the world’s poorest countries. The Toronto conference theme is “Saving every women, every child.”
UNICEF states that about 29,000 children under the age of five die every day, mainly from preventable causes. More than 70 per cent of almost 11 million child deaths every year are attributable to six causes: diarrhea, malaria, neonatal infection, pneumonia, preterm delivery, or lack of oxygen at birth.
Simple interventions are a hugely effective tool. One is vaccinations for children under five. Prime Minister Stephen Harper said vaccinations are “proven to work,” and that they have been “lifesavers” in our society and elsewhere, in an interview with CBC News. Harper offered advice to those who have their own theories and do not listen to scientific evidence. “Don’t indulge your theories, think of your children and listen to the experts,” he said.
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