MP Lise Za­rac in Ethio­pia

Le Messager La Salle - - LA UNE -

At the G8 in Mus­ko­ka last June, Ca­na­da cal­led on the in­ter­na­tio­nal com­mu­ni­ty to in­vest in ma­ter­nal and child health be­cause 8.1 mil­lion chil­dren around the world die from pre­ven­table causes be­fore their fifth bir­th­day and more than 340,000 wo­men die du­ring child­birth or from pre­gnan­cy-re­la­ted causes.

Lise Za­rac, Li­be­ral mem­ber for La­Salle-Emard, tra­vel­led to Ethio­pia in Ja­nua­ry with NGO World Vi­sion to ex­pe­rience firs­thand what pro­gress on ma­ter­nal and child health looks like and what work still needs to be done. “It’s one thing hea­ring about life in a de­ve­lo­ping coun­try, it’s another seeing it for your­self,” says Za­rac, who tra­vel­led with fellow Li­be­ral MP John Mc­Cal­lum and Con­ser­va­tive MP Pe­ter Braid.

Ms. Za­rac was able to see how simple in­ter­ven­tions like vi­ta­min sup­ple­ments, nu­tri­tious diet, hy­giene trai­ning, breast­fee­ding and fa­mi­ly plan­ning can si­gni­fi­cant­ly im­prove com­mu­ni­ty heal­th­care and save lives. “It may look like ba­by steps,” notes Za­rac. “But if you edu­cate mo­thers and give them the in­for­ma­tion they need, they will use it and it makes a big dif­fe­rence.”

Ms. Za­rac says she was par­ti­cu­lar­ly mo­ved by the people she met. “We sat in on a breast­fee­ding and child nu­tri­tion class with young mo­thers. They were so hap­py to learn and I un­ders­tand – I’m a mo­ther too. When you have chil­dren, you want them to be heal­thy.”

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