Executive Director’s blog


Carole Presern, Director PMNCH

The World Health Assembly was in full swing recently, bringing more than 3,000 delegates to Geneva, including many PMNCH members. It was excellent to see the continued and increased commitment to the health of women and children. For PMNCH, highlights included welcoming more than 30 countries to the Breakfast Briefing on Born Too Soon: The Global Action Report on Preterm Birth, which we launched together with the March of Dimes, Save the Children and the WHO at the PMNCH board in New York earlier this month. At the meeting, we heard from the Minister of Health of China, Professor Chen Zhu, as well as Dr Charles Mwansambo, Principal Health Secretary of Malawi, about the situation relating to care and prevention of prematurity in their countries.

Also in conjunction with the Assembly, PMNCH reported to the independent Expert Review Group, chaired by Richard Horton and Joy Phumaphi, at its Consultation on 24 May about our progress in developing the forthcoming 2012 report on the Global Strategy commitments. The PMNCH 2012 report, commissioned at the request of the iERG, will be published in September at the time of the UN General Assembly in New York and is expected to inform part of the content of the iERG’s much-anticipated report on the implementation of the Global Strategy and the recommendations of the Commission on Information and Accountability for Women’s and Children’s Health.

At the World Health Assembly itself, the debate touched often on women’s and children’s health. Memberstates endorsed a report on early marriages and young pregnancies, pointing to the importance of implementing laws and policies and strengthening sexuality education. Members also adopted a resolution targeting imroved nutritional status, with a focus on women and children, as well as endorsing the Global Vaccine Action Plan, a roadmap for more equitable access to vaccines.

The week ended with a successful meeting of the Advisory Group of the PMNCH 2012Report where methodological and content questions were debated, a further step towards the development of a robust report. Another Assembly highlight included the 2012 Resolve Awards

Taken from the PMNCH June 2012 EBlast