From Mozambique to the world
Francisco Songane has been health minister of Mozambique, and he is now director of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health. This global organisation aims to achieve the fourth and fifth Millennium Development Goals-to reduce mortality in children under 5 by two thirds and maternal mortality by three quarters by 2015 from their levels in 1990. Kaushal Raj Pandey interviews him
I was a district medical officer working in the Caia district of Sofala province in Mozambique, and I found out that 60-70% of the clinical activity in that health centre was related to women and children. That was why I decided to learn more about maternal and child health.
Mozambique is governed by the president, who appoints his executive. I was pleased to be asked to serve as health minister in 2001-5. It was a great opportunity.
One important thing is to involve yourself with groups or institutions that can give you broader worldwide views. Medical students are in universities and teaching hospitals and learn the scientific basis. But they must also learn the determinants of health, why countries are so different, and which factors drive this, and they must be informed of world issues.
With a wider perspective on the world, students will better serve their countries, and problems