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Gates Foundation says to raise Malawi health aid

Reuters    Translate This Article
26 January 2010

LILONGWE, Jan 26 (Reuters) - The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation plans to raise its health funding aimed to reduce maternal mortality in Malawi, Melinda Gates said on Tuesday.

Gates, the co-founder and co-chairperson of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, told Reuters during her two-day visit to the impoverished southern African country that she was impressed with the progress made by Malawi in reducing maternal mortality—death during or soon after pregnancy—which is among the highest in the world.

'If you asked me if we plan any more investment in reducing maternal deaths in Malawi, I would say yes because of the good progress being made in making sure that women go to clinics when they are pregnant and that is helping reduce the maternal mortality rate,' she said.

Gates did not say how much investment will be targeted towards the fight against maternal mortality. The government and U.N. agencies say that initiatives to work with communities have helped reduce maternal deaths from 984 per 100,000 live births to 807 deaths for every 100,000 in the last four years. The rate still remains one of the highest in sub Saharan Africa.

(Reporting by Mabvuto Banda; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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