In a bid to help close the gap on the world’s progress in reducing maternal and child deaths, the World Bank has launched a five-year reproductive health plan and announced it will increase its 2010 health spending by 40 percent.
The bank will spend up to USD4.1 billion this year on efforts to strengthen health systems, boost the treatment and prevention of communicable diseases, and improve child and maternal health, sanitation and hygiene in the developing world, the bank announced May 11.
The Reproductive Health Action Plan 2010-215 is designed to help developing countries prevent widespread child and maternal deaths as well as reduce their high fertility rates. Under the plan, the bank seeks to help 58 poor countries with high fertility and maternal death rates by boosting the countries’ access to modern contraceptives and family planning measures, helping to ensure pregnant women will make more frequent antenatal visits and spreading preventive knowledge.
The World Bank plan also includes provisions to train new health workers, particularly midwives and doctors with obstetric skills.