EU, Rise Life collaborate to cut infant mortality
Jesus Orus Baguena, head of cooperation for the European Union (EU) Delegation to Jamaica, is expecting that the launch of a new media campaign, which is part of the Programme for the Reduction of Maternal and Child Mortality (PROMAC), will fill some of the gaps that currently exist, in a bid to propel development.
While speaking at the launch, which was held at the Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston on Thursday, Baguena said he believes a lack of awareness and basic knowledge, have been contributors to the longstanding issue of infant mortality.
"In some cases, we find that instances of child mortality are preventable or could be better managed had there been more awareness or regular check-ups," he declared.
"We understand that media platforms have grown over the years and so we have to ensure that we keep up with the trends in social media, as we want the push and attention to be given to maternal and infant care. We thought that it was only fair that we partner with the Government of Jamaica and with civil society to push this goal forward," The EU head continued.
He said the aim of the campaign is to promote awareness and knowledge. "I don't think I need to explain to anybody here that it takes more than one person to raise a child. It is important that both parties know how to care for the child from inception onwards, including effective family planning and frequent medical check-ups."
Shawn McGregor, programmes manager at RISE Life Management, the entity implementing the project, said it is important that both parents play an integral part in the campaign.
"We have seen improvement in this area but nonetheless the problem persists. The EU specifically wanted us to look at improving health seeking behaviour among the population particularly in terms of women going to clinics and utilising the antenatal services," he said.
"We also felt that through our studies and research that the males also need to improve their health seeking behaviour and one way of doing that is accompanying the females to the hospital and they themselves getting informed as to proper child care practices," he added.
He stressed that child care is the business of both mother and father.