Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Carwyn commits to the "Wales for Africa" programme

"I will build on Rhodri Morgan's proud record on Wales’s contribution to fight poverty and inequality in Africa" - that was the pledge made today by Welsh Labour Leadership candidate, Carwyn Jones, following a meeting with a leading charity worker and doctor campaigning to make birth safer in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Carwyn made his remarks when he met Cardiff-based midwife, Angie Gorman, who runs the Hope for Grace Kodindo Trust and Sierra Leonean medic, Dr. Michael Tetti in Cardiff today.

Ms.Gorman established the charity after seeing a BBC 'Panorama' programme about the number of women in Chad, who die from eclampsia in childbirth as a result of not having access to inexpensive doses of magnesium sulphate.

Since 2006, with the support of the Welsh Assembly Government's 'Wales for Africa' programme, Angie has worked in Chad, training midwives getting supplies of magnesium sulphate into the country to help pregnant women.

She has also extended her work to cover Liberia, Somaliland and more latterly, Sierra Leone - one of the most poorest countries in the world.

The life expectancy for women in Sierra Leone, is around 42 years and less than half of pregnant women are attended by a suitably experienced birth attendant. The maternal mortality lifetime risk at 1:7, is currently the highest in the world.

However, since Angie Gorman teamed up with Michael Tetti, the pair have dramatically reduced maternal mortality rates in the country and during a visit to the Senedd, met with Carwyn to discuss the progress they have made, thanks to the help of the Welsh Assembly Government.

Following the meeting, Carwyn paid tribute to the work undertaken by Angie and Michael in Sub-Saharan Africa, saying:

"I am proud of Wales' role in helping dedicated people like Angie and Michael, saves the lives of pregnant women in Africa. I know how valued and how far our aid money can go in helping the world’s poorest communities. As First Minister, I want to look at ways we can reduce the number of maternal deaths even further.

"It is clear, the Welsh Assembly Government's 'Wales For Africa' programme is making a real contribution to help deliver the United Nations Millennium Development Goals to halve global poverty by 2015. That is why I will build on Rhodri’s proud record on Wales’s contribution to fight poverty and inequality in Africa.

"Likewise, on climate change, Wales is contributing to help developing countries understand and plan for the future. Climate change is a huge threat to the world's poorest countries and I want to see Wales' assistance to those nations, continued and strengthened into the future."


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