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VIDEO: Toronto to host child and maternal health summit

PM announces international summit to keep health of women and children in developing world on the global agenda

Next month, Toronto will be home to an international summit aimed at keeping the health of women and children in the developing world on the global agenda.

On Monday Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that the city will host the Saving Every Woman Every Child: Within Arm's Reach summit, focused on improving mortality rates in vulnerable populations around the world by boosting child and maternal health.

More than 300 international experts, including UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon will gather in Toronto from May 28-30.

At the announcement Harper held up a red Vitamin A capsule and said for a cost of two cents each (taken twice a year), can reduce early childhood mortality by 25%.

"Very often the things that cause the death of children or mothers...are very preventable through cheap medicines and very simple techniques," said Harper at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto.

Harper hopes to keep global attention on child and maternal health and says an initiatives out of the Muskoka G-8 Summit in 2010 has saved millions of lives, but comes to an end in 2015.

According to figures provided by the government fewer women around the world are dying during pregnancy or childbirth (543, 000 in 1990 compared to 287, 000 in 2010). As well, the Harper government says the of children under five who die around the world has fallen from 12 million in 1990 to just over 6 million in 2012.

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