USAID Mission Director Promotes Maternal, Child Health

USAID Mission Director Susan Sawhill Riley visits a pharmaceutical wholesale shop in Diego, in northern Madagascar
Visit to a pharmaceutical wholesale shop in Diego, in northern Madagascar
Population Services International

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

ANTSIRANANA, MADAGASCAR : The Director General of USAID Madagascar, Susan Sawhill Riley,  visited Diego Suarez February 24 to 27 as part of a tour of health projects, and share with partners and beneficiaries USAID’s major priorities, including the renewed promise to end preventable maternal and child deaths.

“The ultimate goal of our work remains the same: to ensure that mothers and their children no longer die from preventable diseases For most of Malagasy children the difference between life and death depends on their ability to withstand deadly illnesses, including pneumonia, diarrhea, malnutrition, malaria and other preventable diseases,” said Mission Director Susan Sawhill Riley.  “In Madagascar, we support critical efforts in voluntary family planning, nutrition, malaria, and diarrheal diseases -- effective interventions that save lives while preventing the spread of disease.”

One of the priorities of USAID around the world and Madagascar is to end preventable deaths of mothers as well as children under five.  Reducing child mortality requires a two-pronged approach:  addressing the immediate causes of death, but also the underlying causes, including access to drinking water, sanitation, nutrition and education.

Riley visited several field sites, including a Top Reseau clinic, one of a network of clinics managed by Population Services International.   This program focuses on educating the public and providing better access to health services and products, to measurably improve the health of vulnerable Malagasy.  Riley also visited Cap Diego to participate in the celebration of a “Champion Commune” village that, with the help of USAID’s MAHEFA community health project (managed by JSI inc.), has adopted growth monitoring and community-led total sanitation.  

The importance of being able to choose when and how to create a family will be honored during an outreach event where Marie Stopes Madagascar, a USAID-supported project that brings services to remote villages, will provide counselling and long-acting contraceptive services to isolated populations.

Last updated: December 15, 2014

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