HEALTHY CHILD MANITOBA CELEBRATES 10-YEAR ANNIVERSARY AS MANITOBA HOSTS NATIONAL CHILD DAY FORUM
– – – Forum Highlights Success of Healthy Baby Program, Includes Stephen Lewis Address, Order of the Buffalo Hunt Presentation, Video Launch
A video on the state of early-childhood development in Manitoba highlighting the success Manitoba’s Healthy Baby program was launched at the National Child Day Forum in Winnipeg today by Healthy Living, Youth and Seniors Minister Jim Rondeau, chair of the Healthy Child Committee of Cabinet.
“This video is not only a look at the progress we’ve made since the Healthy Child strategy was initiated 10 years ago, it also illustrates to all of us how much we all have left to do,” said Rondeau. “The success of Healthy Child is largely due to its inclusive nature – it crosses government departments and integrates the community to develop policies, programs and services with the sole purpose of securing the best possible outcomes for Manitoba’s children. It is with all of us working together in this manner that we will be able to continue moving forward with this important work.”
The Manitoba Centre for Health Policy released a study on Monday that quantifies the success of Manitoba’s Healthy Baby program. The study found women enrolled in the program had fewer low birth weight babies and fewer preterm births among other measurable improvements. The full report is available online at http://mchp-appserv.cpe.umanitoba.ca/deliverablesList.html.
The theme of the forum is ‘celebrating 10 years of community partnerships’ in recognition of the 10th anniversary of Healthy Child Manitoba. Numerous experts gathered to share their wisdom including Dr. Fraser Mustard, Dr. Jean Clinton and Dr. Dennis Embry, all renowned in the field of early-childhood development.
The forum will end with a keynote presentation by Stephen Lewis, diplomat and humanitarian, entitled A Child and Youth Centred Society – A Call to Action for Manitoba. Lewis is a renowned and tireless advocate in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Africa. An engaging orator, he is very convincing when calling on a community to act, Rondeau said.
At the closing of the conference, Premier Greg Selinger will induct Mustard into Manitoba’s Order of the Buffalo Hunt in recognition of his leadership and outstanding achievements in early human-development research and its application. His work is considered to have influenced health policy in Canada and had a particular impact on the direction that early-years programming has taken in Manitoba.
The Order of the Buffalo Hunt was founded in 1957 to recognize the outstanding and distinctive contributions of leaders in areas such as politics, business, sports and entertainment. Past inductees into the Order of the Buffalo Hunt include Mother Teresa, Pope John Paul II, artist Leo Mol and entertainers Neil Young, Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman.
National Child Day has been celebrated across Canada since 1993 to commemorate the United Nations’ adoption of two documents centered on children’s rights: the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child on Nov. 20, 1959, and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child on Nov. 20, 1989.
Created in 2000, Healthy Child Manitoba is represented by the only cabinet committee in Canada dedicated to children and youth. Chaired by Rondeau, the Healthy Child Committee of Cabinet also includes the ministers of Aboriginal and Northern Affairs; Culture, Heritage and Tourism; Education; Family Services and Consumer Affairs; Health; Housing and Community Development; Justice and the minister responsible for the status of women.
Through a combination of financial and community-based family supports, Healthy Child Manitoba works to help families and communities raise children who are healthy, safe and secure, successful at learning, and socially engaged and responsible, the minister said. The support extends through adolescence, with a focus on the most critical stage of early-childhood development, from the prenatal period to the preschool years.