By Zayamu Hassa
President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa has expressed his commitment to uplift the living condition of women, adolescents and children in the country.
He stated this when he received the Board Chairperson of Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH), Helen Clark, who paid President Ramaphosa a courtesy visit.
The PMNCH is a leading group aimed at securing the health and wellbeing of the vulnerable groups by working with states and some 1 300 partner organisations.
President Ramaphosa said he was impressed with the way the PMNCH sought to elicit the commitments of South African people first, “because indeed charity begins at home.”
“I hope that as Head of State, I can build confidence in our ability to positively impact these vulnerable population groups by sharing the models being implemented across the Republic of South Africa, exchanging best practices, and mobilising other champions to galvanise greater action, thereby elicit lasting commitments for real change in the lived experience of our women, adolescents and children.”
Earlier speaking, the PMNCH Board Chair, Clark, applauded the President Ramaphosa’s commitment to ensuring that reversals suffered by women, children and adolescents in the health and well-being – which are compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic and other crises – are halted.
“We are deeply honoured that President Ramaphosa has agreed to support this critical agenda as we need urgent and transformative action to reverse these worrying trends. This will help drive the much-needed political will behind issues that impact on outcomes for women, children and adolescents.
“At PMNCH, we are committed to working alongside the President to position this agenda so that action is taken to get back on track towards achievement of SDG 3 [Sustainable Development Goal 3]. At this time when compounding crises are rolling back previous progress made on women’s empowerment and the health of communities,” she said.
In a statement, the Presidency noted that President Ramaphosa and Clark discussed the SDG 3 targets in detail.
The Presidency statement said: “The President and Clark explored opportunities to undertake high-level political advocacy and strategic interventions to amass political, financial, and programmatic commitments from all sectors of society, including the private sector, critical to delivering on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
“This includes the SDG 3 targets for women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health, especially in the face of the toxic combination of COVID-19, escalating gender-based violence, economic instability, the climate crisis and conflicts.”