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Professor Kath McCourt attends Downing Street reception in aid of WaterAid

23rd July 2015

Professor Kath McCourt, Executive Dean (Health and Life Sciences) and Vice President of the Commonwealth Nurses and Midwives Federation, met with healthcare leaders at Downing Street to discuss the challenge of improving access to clean water around the world.

She was invited by WaterAid to attend a reception hosted by Prime Minister David Cameron’s wife, Samantha, in support of WaterAid. The charity works to improve sanitation and health globally and has a key focus on water, sanitation and hygiene in healthcare facilities.

Among those in attendance were prominent WaterAid supporters including Lord Leigh of Hurley, Sir William Cash MP, former footballer and MBE Cyrille Regis, actor Dougray Scott and singer Rachel Stevens. Dr Mark Porter, chair of the British Medical Association (BMA) and Cecilia Anim, President of the Royal College of Nurses, also attended the reception.

This month, the world’s leaders will meet at a UN conference in Ethiopia, to discuss how to fund the Sustainable Development Goals which aim to eradicate extreme poverty and create a more sustainable world by 2030. WaterAid is lobbying to ensure access to clean water, basic sanitation and good hygiene remains central in these efforts.

Professor McCourt, who also chairs the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) International Committee and works across the world on health and nursing initiatives, is looking forward to working with WaterAid on forthcoming projects.

She said: “WaterAid is lobbying to ensure access to clean water, basic sanitation and good hygiene and I’m delighted to be working with the charity to advocate for improved conditions in birthing centres and healthcare facilities globally. 

“In 2013, over 2.7 million babies died in their first four weeks of life. This is overwhelmingly a problem of the developing world, with over 99% of neonatal deaths occurring in low and middle income countries.

“It is time to ensure that the next generation of children is given the best start in life.”

WaterAid operates in 37 countries across Africa, Asia, Central America and the Pacific Region, working to transform lives by improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation in some of the world’s poorest communities.

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