Full document: Global Strategy for Women's and Children's health

Glogal Strategy for Women and Children Health banner

Author(s)/Editor(s): United Nations Secretary-General
Publisher/Organizer: The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health
Publication date: 2010
Number of pages: 20
Language: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish

Foreword by the UN Secretary General

Each year, millions of women and children die from preventable causes. These are not mere statistics. They are people with names and faces. Their suffering is unacceptable in the 21st century. We must, therefore, do more for the newborn who succumbs to infection for want of a simple injection, and for the young boy who will never reach his full potential because of malnutrition. We must do more for the teenage girl facing an unwanted pregnancy; for the married woman who has found she is infected with the HIV virus; and for the mother who faces complications in childbirth.

Together we must make a decisive move, now, to improve the health of women and children around the world. we know what works. we have achieved excellent progress in a short time in some countries. the answers lie in building our collective resolve to ensure universal access to essential health services and proven, life-saving interventions as we work to strengthen health systems. these range from family planning and making childbirth safe, to increasing access to vaccines and treatment for hIV and aIds, malaria, tuberculosis, pneumonia and other neglected diseases. the needs of each country vary and depend on existing resources and capacities. often the solutions are very simple, such as clean water, exclusive breastfeeding, nutrition, and education on how to prevent poor health

The global strategy for women’s and children’s health meets this challenge head on. It sets out the key areas where action is urgently required to enhance financing, strengthen policy and improve service delivery. these include:

  • Support for country-led health plans, supported by increased, predictable and sustainable investment.
  • Integrated delivery of health services and life-saving interventions – so women and their children can access prevention, treatment and care when and where they need it.
  • Stronger health systems, with sufficient skilled health workers at their core.
  • Innovative approaches to financing, product development and the efficient delivery of health services.
  • Improved monitoring and evaluation to ensure the accountability of all actors for results.

I thank the many governments, international and non-governmental organizations, companies, foundations, constituency groups and advocates who have contributed to the development of this global strategy. this is a first step. It is in all our hands to make a concrete difference as a result of this plan. I call on everyone to play their part. success will come when we focus our attention and resources on people, not their illnesses; on health, not disease. with the right policies, adequate and fairly distributed funding, and a relentless resolve to deliver to those who need it most – we can and will make a life-changing difference for current and future generations.

Ban Ki-moon, New York, September 2010