January 31, 2012 - UN Resident Coordinator in Ukraine welcomed the opening of Kirovohrad regional perinatal center for the National Project "New Life. New Quality of Maternal and Child Health Protection", opened by the President of Ukraine on 31 January 2012.

January 31, 2012 - UN Resident Coordinator in Ukraine welcomed the opening of Kirovohrad regional perinatal center for the National Project "New Life. New Quality of Maternal and Child Health Protection", opened by the President of Ukraine on 31 January 2012.

Mr. Olivier Adam noted:

‘Kirovohrad regional perinatal center opening is an important event not only for Kirovograd, but for Ukraine in general, as it attests to the government’s strong commitment to the protection of maternal and child health. These issues are at the core of the United Nations Agenda in Ukraine and we are proud that four UN agencies have supported the New Life Project from its inception.

As we all know, giving priority to the care of infants and pregnant women is indeed one of the most critical investments for the future of any society. Ukraine has made great progress towards reaching its Millennium Development Goals four and five which aim at reducing child mortality and improve of maternal health. However these progress are still unequal as those vulnerable disadvantaged women and children have still limited access to perinatal care services.

Prioritising perinatal care reform is key to addressing these disparities but is also an opportunity to further reduce Mother to Child Transmission of HIV. Remarkable achievements have been made in this field as MTCT has already been drastically reduced from 27% in 2000 to 6% last year. However, the target is to reach less than 2% transmission by 2013. To achieve this ambitious target an integrated approach is required that primarily involves social services and NGOs working with those socially vulnerable women and children.

It is also of critical importance to link the development of perinatal care to the overall health reform initiative and ensure that it is well embedded within it. A system of proper referrals, sufficient funding to facilitate equal access, good quality care with good information, and the active involvement of the population are key to its success.

The United agencies working in Ukraine will continue providing technical assistance to support this great initiative to ensure that the life of every single child and every woman is adequately protected in Ukraine.’