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Child and maternal health at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health

University welcomes Mozambican Minister of Health

(photo by Derek A via Flickr)

As world leaders gathered in Canada for  a global summit on child and maternal health, part of Canada's Muskoka Initiative, faculty from the University of Toronto shared their expertise on improving the health of mothers and children around the world.

Mozambican Minister of Health Dr. Alexandre Manguele, a speaker at the Summit, met with leaders from U of T’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health, including Dean Howard Hu, Arun Chockalingam, director of the Office of Global Health Education and Training, and Donald Cole, professor of Global Health. 

“Canada can learn a lot from countries like Mozambique, particularly regarding public health and primary care delivery,” said Hu, noting that integration of these two fields is one of the School’s strategic priorities.

“Although they have a shortage of health care professionals, there is tremendous opportunity to build a cohesive public health and primary care system from the ground up. By partnering with Mozambique and other developing countries, Canada can learn from their success to improve our health system,” said Hu.

Minister Manguele also met with: Adalsteinn Brown, director of the Institute for Health Policy Management and Evaluation, Professor David Henry, senior advisor to Brown and Hu, and former CEO of the Institute of Clinical and Evaluative Sciences; Doug Sider, medical director, Communicable Disease Prevention and Control at Public Health Ontario who lived and worked in Mozambique; and Rani Kotha, senior global health strategist in the Faculty of Medicine. (Pictured at right: Hu, Manguele and Kotha.)

“The Minister is a thoughtful person committed to improving the health of Mozambicans and we identified many potential opportunities for training senior people from Mozambique at U of T,” said Professor Chockalingam.

Reducing maternal mortality is a priority for Mozambique. Under the leadership of Minister Manguele, the government has developed a five-year strategic plan, focusing on improving access to and quality of maternal and newborn health services.

After an animated discussion about the Ontario health care system, Professor Brown and Minister Manguele talked about potentially engaging Mozambican senior hospital leaders in quality improvement and leadership training at U of T.

“The chance to work with Mozambican providers on quality improvement projects could support health system strengthening and would provide a great opportunity to learn how to best refine current quality improvement programs,” said Professor Brown, who also holds the Dalla Lana Chair in Public Health Policy.

Canada has identified three areas for development programming in maternal, newborn and child health in Mozambique, including strengthening the public health system, reducing the burden of disease and training of health workers and improving the quality of maternal, newborn and child health services.

The Dalla Lana School of Public Health will hold its own international global health summit this November.  Stay tuned for details.