Health Care Professionals meeting
Representatives from international, regional and national Health Care Professional Associations (HCPAs) met in Geneva, under the auspices of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health. Several professional groups attended, representing nurses, gynaecologists, obstetricians, midwives, paediatricians and pharmacists from both international, regional and national levels with representation from Kenya, Canada, Turkey, Uganda and South Africa.
The group came together to develop a plan to strengthen national, regional and global health care professionals action for maternal, newborn and child health. This was first identified as an important step in the joint HCPA statement that was developed for the Partnership Launch in September 2005. This joint statement suggests how HCPAs can fulfil their role in achieving Millennium Development Goals 4 & 5.
Discussions included the challenges and opportunities faced by health care professionals (HCPs) at the country, regional, and international level. After identifying possible plans and solutions for these problems, groups set forth work plans at the national and international level for improved integration of HCPAs into debates, action and national programs for maternal, newborn and child health. By the conclusion of the meeting, definitive timelines had been set for next steps to further the involvement of HCPAs in efforts to achieve MDGs 4 & 5. These include advocating for greater cooperation between HCPAs, recognition of the role and capacity of HCPAs at all levels, information streams from headquarters to country offices of the large organisations such as the multilaterals on the decision to include HCPAs in maternal, newborn and child health program development and planning.
The group was led by interim Steering Committee members, Dr. Joyce Thompson of the International Confederation of Midwives, Dr. Andre Lalonde, Executive Vice President of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada and Dr. Zulfiqar Bhutta, Professor of paediatrics at the Aga Khan University.