Mozambican Minister of Health visits Dalla Lana School before Canadian Child and Maternal Health Summit

May 29/2014

During the last week of May 2014, Canada hosted world leaders at a global child and maternal health summit, part of Canada's Muskoka Initiative, to improve the health of mothers and children around the world. 

With considerable expertise in global health, the Dalla Lana School of Public Health is addressing massive global health inequalities within and across countries by exploring transnational health issues, determinants and solutions using a multidisciplinary approach to research and education.

Maternal and child health is one area of strength within the School so it’s no surprise that when world leaders descend upon Toronto for the summit, a stop at the School is on their agenda.

On May 27, 2014, Dr. Alexandre Manguele, the Mozambican Minister of Health who is speaking at the Summit, met with Dalla Lana School of Public Health leaders, 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 Dean Hu, noting that integration of these two fields is one of the School’s strategic priorities.                                                                                                     Dean Howard Hu, Minister Manguele and Rani Kotha

“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 Dean Hu.

Minister Manguele also met with Adalsteinn Brown, Director of the Institute of Health Policy Management and Evaluation, Professor David Henry, Senior Advisor to the Dean and Professor Brown and former CEO of the Institute for 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.

“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.

                                                                                                                                         left to right: David Henry, Doug Sider, Adalsteinn Brown, Minister Alexandre Manguele Arun Chockalingam