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Global Summit on maternal, newborn and child health

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Publication Date: 
28 May 2014


This week in Toronto, the federal government is hosting a Global Summit on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, as part of the Muskoka Initiative. CRRU has collected media reports on the summit, as well as international reports that put Canada's own domestic record on maternal and child health into perspective.

Article from medical journal The Lancet

Accountability in Canada's Muskoka Initiative questioned
The Lancet, 10 May 2014

Media reports

The maternal health summit: Another bad day for the PMO. Controversy over conference coverage
Paul Wells, Maclean's, 29 May 14

PM calls maternal-childhood health in developing countries Canada's ‘development priority'
Antonia Zerbasis, Toronto Star, 29 May 14

Harper wants renewed commitment to maternal and child health
Andrea Janus, CTV News, 28 May 14

Harper's kids, moms plan polarizes at home
Mike Blanchfield, Canadian Press, 28 May 14

Critics slam Stephen Harper ahead of maternal health summit
Antonia Zerbisias, Toronto Star, 27 May 14

Efforts to improve child and maternal health must reach the most vulnerable
Dave Toycen,Toronto Star, 27 May 14

Maternal health: Should Harper focus on First Nations first?
CTV News, 27 May 14

Canada's domestic record on child health

Child well-being in rich countries: A comparative overview. Innocenti Report Card 11, UNICEF, 2013

  • Canada ranked 17th overall on child well-being, and 27th on child health and safety.
  • Canada placed in the bottom third of the infant mortality league table.
  • Canada immunization rate ranked 28th out of 29 countries.

Mortality rate, infant (per 1,000 live births), World Bank, 2012

  • Canada ranked 37th globally on infant mortality.
  • Many less wealthy countries ranked above Canada, including Cuba and Belarus.

Indigenous children's health report: Health assessment in action, Janet Smylie & Paul Adomako (Eds.), St. Michael's Hospital, Centre for Inner City Health

  • Infant mortality among First Nations with status is nearly twice the rate in the general Canadian population.
  • Infant mortality among Inuit is four times higher than the general Canadian population.

The child care transition, Innocenti Report Card 8, UNICEF, 2008

  • This report used children's access to basic health care as a proxy indicator for universality. Three indicators made up the benchmark: immunization rate, low birth weight and infant mortality. Canada did not meet this access to basic health care benchmark, meaning Canada met only one of the three indicators, failing UNICEF's minimum standards on immunization and infant mortality.
  • Overall, Canada achieved only one of ten child care benchmarks in this report.
  • Canada was one of only three OECD countries (along with Australia and Ireland) to meet fewer than 3 benchmarks.