TORONTO – According to Plan Canada, pregnancy is the leading cause of death for girls aged 15-19 worldwide.

The health of mothers and children in developing countries will be one of the many topics discussed during the G8 Summit.

The United Nations has also established maternal health as one of its eight Millennium Development Goals.

Plan says that at the G8 Canada will have a historic opportunity to take the lead on a global initiative to help prevent the deaths of millions of mothers and children in developing countries.

The group is asking Canada to lead the G8 to invest in a massive increase in the number of frontline community health workers trained to provide the very poor with dependable care close to home, including basic health care, medicine, nutrition, clean water and prenatal care.

In 2009, 536,000 women and girls died as a result of complications during pregnancy, childbirth or in the six weeks following delivery. Leaving more than 1 million children orphaned every year.

For more information on Plan Canada go to plancanada.ca.