Turkish Parliamentarians' study tour in Mauritania- February 2013
On 27th and 28th February 2013 EPF led a delegation of 4 Members of the Turkish Parliament to Mauritania on a study tour.
Their goal was to examine the health and wellbeing of Mauritania’s women, with the main focus being on the challenges that the country is experiencing in its fight to prevent maternal mortality and to improve the reproductive health and rights of its citizens. The trip was co-organised by EPF, TIKA, The Turkish Grand National Assembly and TAPD and hosted by UNFPA and the Turkish embassy.
Mauritania is one of the countries that is suffering the most of the plague of maternal mortality. Today more than a third of its population has an unmet need for family planning, and the maternal mortality rate is at an alarmingly high level of 626 deaths for 100 000 live births.
The group visited a range of projects across the capital Nouakchott including a mother & child hospital, an essential drugs supply centre, a blood transfusion centre, Dar Naïm district health centre and a centre run by the local IPPF Member Association. They also met with the Minister of Health of Mauritania and relevant governmental authorities, a range of experts from the international community involved in the health sector and a group of local parliamentarians. During their visit they had several opportunities to voice their belief that “empowering women is key to stronger Mauritanian families and to a stronger nation”.
The MPs were heartened by many of the commitments taken by the Government of Mauritania and its development partners to tackle the health statistics and realities in the country, and also took many lessons from their experiences of the enormous challenges that still remain. In particular they hope that Mauritania can continue to build upon their efforts, commitment and ambitions to tackle poverty, improving the health and rights of women and fighting against gender-based violence.
At the end of two very intense days in Mauritania, the group met with Hon. Ahmedou Ould Hademine Ould Jelvoune, the Minister of Health of Mauritania, to discuss Turkey’s involvement in the future of Mauritania’s development. At the meeting EPF vice-president Hon. Öznur Çalik, MP received a letter from the Minister with a modest request to TIKA, which demonstrated the powerful role that Turkey can play in improving the country’s health infrastructure.
During a final meeting at the Mauritanian National Assembly, the delegates were pleased to meet with a group of Mauritanian parliamentarians who are working on population and development issues. At the meeting the participants discussed the range of ways in which Mauritania and Turkey can work together to support the realization of the health-related Millennium Development Goals with a particular focus on MDG5, but also in all sectors of the Mauritanian economy including agriculture, energy and infrastructure.
In a declaration which was provided to the media present at the meeting, the EPF Turkish declaration repeated its vow that: ‘No mother should lose her child; no child should lose its mother!’ (You will find a copy of this declaration attached).
EPF wishes to thank the Embassy of Turkey in Mauritania, TIKA and UNFPA for the warm welcome and fruitful support that all three organisations gave its delegation.