Ladies and gentlemen,
The Ministry of Health in the Islamic Republic of Iran has been lauded both nationally and internationally for its great efforts and hard work in improving the public health system with a specific target of reducing the national child mortality rate. In line with former commitments to the Millennium Development Goals and the Government’s present commitments to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, the Islamic Republic of Iran has achieved a dramatic reduction in under 5 mortality rate, bringing it down from 57 per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 16 per 1,000 in 2015. The same is true about the neonatal mortality rate which fell to 10 per 1,000 live births in 2015.
As we know, a major part of this success is due to the great advancement in provision of Primary Health Care Centres in rural and urban areas over the last decades and the wide-scale immunization of children against communicable killer diseases.
Ladies and Gentlemen, today as we gather here although the number of deaths and disabilities caused by communicable diseases is dramatically reduced in Iran, there is so much that can be done to prevent child mortality and disability rooted in other causes such as congenital diseases, birth asphyxia and arrhythmia as well as accidents and incidents, such as severe brain damage caused by falling or road accidents. That is why we believe efforts to improve child survival need to be progressively shifted towards improving national capacities and upgrading the knowledge and skills of pediatricians, nurses, emergency medicine experts, and all other relevant experts in lifesaving and resuscitation of children.
In May this year and as part of the joint work plan signed between the Ministry of Health and Medical Education and UNICEF Iran, and thanks to the presence of experts from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, the first part of a training of trainers course on Paediatric Advanced Life Support or PALS, was successfully conducted for a group of paediatricians, paediatric emergency medical experts, paediatric anesthesiologists and other experts in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The goal was to train them as PALS instructors and providers.
Now, I am pleased to be speaking to you on the final day of the second part of this training conducted by the same dedicated team from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine to officially certify 25 national experts as PALS instructors and 50 national experts as PALS providers from seven medical universities across the country. Congratulations to the team of newly PALS certified experts of Iran.
I am certain that this training, based on an internationally recognized methodology of the American Heart Association, has been successful in providing high quality and up-to-date theoretical and hands-on knowledge and skills on child saving and child resuscitation to participants.
I would like to wish the team of newly certified PALS trainers success in further cascading the training down to other relevant experts to ensure the sustainability of this crucial knowledge and skills in the country.
Ladies and Gentlemen, distinguished guests, let me finish by thanking our colleagues at the Ministry of Health and Medical Education for their longstanding support to UNICEF and for their strong commitment in improving the situation of children’s health in Iran. I would also like to extend my special thanks and warm welcome to course instructors from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine who have generously offered the training free of charge. We thank you very much for that.
Good luck and Thank you