Investment "urgently required" to save lives of Iraqi babies and mothers

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"Urgent" investment is required to help save the lives of pregnant women and their babies in Iraq, according to the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF).

In a statement on Thursday, UNICEF said that decades of conflict and under-investment had placed a "huge strain" on the entire health system.

Matt Wells reports.

The agency said that in conjunction with Iraq's health ministry, it was launching the new Every Newborn Action Plan, developed jointly with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA).UNICEF's Representative in Iraq, Peter Hawkins, said that "providing high quality care before and after birth not only saves lives, it is also an investment to ensure Iraqi children have the best start in life and meet their full potential."

WHO's Representative, Musani Altaf, added that the goal was to "achieve equitable universal health coverage" on behalf of every woman and newborn.

Among the ways outlined to improve health conditions are more breastfeeding, better neonatal resuscitation facilities, and so-called kangaroo mother care for pre-term babies.

Matt Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 55″

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