3 December 2013 | The National acceleration plan for maternal and child health 2013–2015 was launched in Rabat on 13 November 2013, at a ceremony chaired by His Excellency Dr El Houssaine Louardi, Minister of Health, and in the presence of Dr Ala Alwan, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean, key partners including UNFPA, UNICEF and the Spanish Cooperation, directors of the central government, regional directors, representatives of professional societies and civil society.
There has been a substantial progress in reducing child and maternal deaths in Morocco over the years. The under-five mortality rate fell by 61% between 1990 and 2012, while the maternal mortality ratio fell by 67% between 1990 and 2010.
The national plan was developed as part of the regional initiative on Saving the lives of mothers and children launched by WHO, UNICEF and UNFPA in close partnership with countries and stakeholders at a high-level meeting in Dubai in January 2013 and as a commitment to the Dubai Declaration. The initiative aims at accelerating the rate of progress towards the Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 on reduction of child and maternal mortality, respectively.
The Moroccan plan aims to bring about further reduction in under-five and maternal mortality to reach by 2015 a reduction of 70% and 82%, respectively, from the 1990 levels.
The plan targets 65% of the Moroccan population living in 44 provinces in 9 regions, to reach the most underserved. The focus is to enhance the capacity of the regions to plan, implement, follow up and evaluate, relying on their technical resources, and to increase access to high quality MCH services, targeting both primary health care and referral care.
Morocco is the second country in the Region to formally launch the maternal and child acceleration plan. All the priority countries in the Region covered by the initiative have developed their acceleration plans.