The Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents' Health 2016-2030

The updated Global Strategy

Today we have both the knowledge and the opportunity to end preventable deaths among all women, children and adolescents, to greatly improve their health and well-being and to bring about the transformative change needed to shape a more prosperous and sustainable future. That is the ambition of this Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health.

The previous Global Strategy achieved great things between 2010 and 2015.1 It galvanized political leadership, attracted billions of dollars in new financial commitments and created Every Woman Every Child, a powerful multi-stakeholder movement for health (see Annex 1 in the report).2 The United Nations Commission on Information and Accountability for Women’s and Children’s Health3 resulted in a landmark Accountability Framework and an independent Expert Review Group (iERG)4, and the United Nations Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women’s and Children’s Health strengthened the availability and supply of essential interventions.5 Several global action plans and reports were launched to address and bring attention to neglected areas with support for country implementation (see Annex 1 in the report). Millions of lives were saved and progress towards the health Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) was accelerated.2 Strides were made in areas such as increasing access to contraception and essential interventions, reducing maternal and child mortality and malnutrition and combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.2,6,7

However, far too many women, children and adolescents worldwide still have little or no access to essential, good-quality health services and education, clean air and water, adequate sanitation and good nutrition. They face violence and discrimination, are unable to participate fully in society, and encounter other barriers to realizing their human rights.2,6,7 As a result, as the MDG era draws to a close, the annual death toll remains unacceptably high: 289,000 maternal deaths, 2.6 million stillbirths, 5.9 million deaths in children under the age of five—including 2.7 million newborn deaths—and 1.3 million adolescent deaths.8,10 Most of these deaths could have been prevented. Many more people suffer illness and disability and fail to reach their full potential, resulting in enormous loss and costs for countries both today and for future generations.

That is why this updated Global Strategy is essential. We urgently need it in order to complete the unfinished work of the MDGs, to address inequities within and between countries and to help countries begin implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development without delay. This updated Global Strategy, spanning the 15 years of the SDGs,11 provides guidance to accelerate momentum for women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health. It should achieve nothing less than a transformation in health and sustainable development by 2030 for all women, children and adolescents, everywhere.

The updated Global Strategy Resources