The Togolese head of State, Faure Gnassingbe, on Tuesday launched activities marking the campaign to accelerate the reduction of maternal, neonatal and child mortality in Africa (CARMMA).
Attended by representatives of the UN System, Gnassingbe ceased the occasion to call the attention of his compatriots, decision makers and the medical world to the tragedy of maternal, neonatal and child mortality.
He called for the total mobilization against the scourge that, according to him, "too often" takes a terrible toll in the country.
"Let's accelerate the reduction of maternal and child mortality to correct the errors that made us move back in the fight against this scourge," Gnassingbe said.
According to official statistics in Togo, for every 100,000 living births, 478 women die from pregnancy- or delivery-related causes while 1,000 others die for different reasons in every 42 new-births. Also, 77 children in every 1,000 die during their first year of life, and one woman dies of complications related to pregnancy every eight hours. CARMMA is an initiative of the African Union (AU), launched during its session in May 2009 in Ethiopia.
It aims to put in place an efficient strategy over five years to accelerate the availability and use of the maternal and child quality health services.
Before being launched in Togo, the programme had taken off in about 20 other African countries.