The Women in Parliaments Global Forum (WIP), under the patronage of H.E. Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, President of Malta, and in collaboration with MSD for Mothers, organised a high-level meeting on Maternal Health and Refugee Women.
This event convened Parliamentarians from across Europe as well as other relevant stakeholders. Speakers included the H.E. President of Malta, the Minister for Health of Malta, Hon. Christopher Fearne, Commissioner for Health, Vytenis Andriukaitis, among many others.
The health of mother and child remains a critical concern, not only in the developing world but also in Europe. Many women are still unable to gain access to timely and quality healthcare with refugee women being placed in a particularly vulnerable situation. However, maternal health is often taking a lower spot on the healthcare agenda.
Within the framework of Malta’s Presidency of the Council of the EU, the objective of this meeting was to place maternal health high on the agenda both in national and EU context. It also aims to inform and empower female Parliamentarians to drive this topic in their respective Parliaments.
The two-day study trip included interactive working sessions and a field visit to an Open Refugee Centre. The event brought together in an innovative, participatory way a range of stakeholder profiles as the President of Malta, Maltese national representatives, EU high-level authorities as the Commission for Health and the European Asylum Support Officer Executive Director, Parliamentarians from different EU member states (Italy, Spain, Romania, Croatia, Poland and Malta) as well as different outstanding experts and Civil Society Organisations.
These were some of the specific goals of this event: agree on a long term vision for maternal health in Europe, exchange best practices from the national level, address the links between the EU and the member states, identify what concrete policies should the EU and national institutions take in order to ensure that every woman in Europe has affordable access to high quality maternal healthcare, with a special focus on migrant and refugee women.
In the picture: President and Minister of Health of Malta; EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety; and Silvana Koch-Merin