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Global Strategy; a new paradigm

by hr

Saturday 26th September 2015 was another historic and memorable international day as we all gathered with bliss during the 70th United Nations General Assembly for the launch of the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s, and Adolescents 2.0 covering 2016 -2020.

I remember vividly when it was 1st launched in September 2010 by the UN Secretary-General, the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health has contributed to significant progress worldwide for women’s and children’s survival and health. The Every Woman Every Child movement that grew out of the Global Strategy had mobilized actors from all sectors to work towards shared goals. Strong progress has been made toward the vision to end all preventable maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent deaths.

This new updated Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s, and Adolescents’ Health will build on new evidence, including the need to focus on critical population groups such as newborns, adolescents and those living in fragile and conflict settings, build the resilience of health systems, improve the quality of health services and equity in their coverage, and work with health-enhancing sectors on issues such as women’s empowerment, education, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene.  It will align with the targets and indicators developed for the Sustainable Development Goals framework and outline opportunities for means of implementation, including innovative financing and the Global Financing Facility.

The Global Strategy launched at the UN General Assembly has a draft five-year implementation plan and will be proposed for formal endorsement at the World Health Assembly in May 2016 with the following key Principles

  1. Strong country ownership
  2. The highest-level and broad-based political support
  3. Added value
  4. Mobilizing ambitious and concrete multi-stakeholder action
  5. A human-rights based approach
  6. Aligning with SDGs and related processes and mechanisms

During the launch the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had announced over $25 billion in initial commitments spanning five years to help end preventable deaths of women, children and adolescents, and ensure their health and well-being. Heads of State and Government, international organizations, the private sector, foundations, civil society, research and academic institutions, and other key partners joined the event during the UN Summit for the adoption of the sustainable development agenda to pledge their support to the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health.

“The Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health, which I am proud to launch today, will help to build resilient and healthy societies. We have shown that our partnership can yield concrete results. I, and the entire UN system, remain dedicated to saving and improving the lives of the most vulnerable amongst us,” said Mr. Ban Ki-moon.

The commitments announced are expected to grow significantly in the coming years, and include new policies and groundbreaking partnerships from 40 countries and over 100 international organizations, philanthropic foundations, UN agencies, civil society and the private sector. Pledges include contributions from the United States ($3.3 billion), Canada ($2.6 billion), Sweden ($2.5 billion), Germany ($1.3 billion), Norway ($420 million), Netherlands ($326 million) and Korea ($300 million) among other donor countries, but do not reflect substantial domestic resources already committed to this agenda. The amount pledged so far also includes an estimated $6 billion of in-kind contributions, as well as commitments to the Global Financing Facility in support of Every Woman Every Child, launched during the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, in Addis Ababa in July.

It gladdens my heart to conclude this article by sharing what some world leaders said during the launch in order to encourage African Leaders to follow suit with more concerted political will and action for the implementation of the global strategy.

  • “As we transition from the Millennium Development Goals to the Sustainable Development Goals, we can be proud of the progress we made. The Every Woman Every Child movement achieved much in the last five years, but we have so much more to do to ensure that no woman, no child, no adolescent is left behind. With the SDGs we are sowing the seeds of profound change. Partnership is essential in realizing the ambitions of the Global Strategy, and to ensuring accountability for everyone’s actions. Our collective investments over the next 15 years are aimed at ending preventable deaths in a generation, ensuring that every woman, every child, and every adolescent everywhere reaches their full potential.” Mrs. Graça Machel Board Chair, Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health.
  • “Supporting the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health is key to ending preventable deaths and achieving sustainable development.” Prime Minister Erna Solberg
  • “When the health of women and children improves, life improves by every measure. Better health leads to better education and economic opportunities, which lead to broader prosperity.” Mr. Bill Gates.
  • “The UN Secretary-General’s updated Global Strategy lays out a clear path to end preventable maternal and child deaths by 2030. And now through the Global Financing Facility, the world has an unprecedented opportunity to mobilize the resources necessary to reach that goal.” Jim Yong Kim President, World Bank Group.
  • “WHO is deeply committed to working with countries and partners to transform the bold ideas of this strategy into reality. We all must hold ourselves accountable to measure and track progress towards these ambitious goals to ensure that every woman, child and adolescent has access to the health services they need to survive and thrive.” Dr. Margaret Chan Director-General, World Health Organization.

1st published in Daily Trust Newspaper of  6th Oct 2015 by  Dr Aminu Magashi Publisher Health Reporters (healthweekly@yahoo.com)

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