Conference: Call to Action - Child Survival and Development for Every Child in India


Partnership Session

Theme 9: Partnership for improved maternal and child health

Chair: Mr. Keshav Desiraju, Secretary Health & Family Welfare, MoHFW, India
Co-Chair: Ms. Anuradha Gupta, AS & MD-NRHM, MoHFW, India and Dr. Ariel Pablos-Mendez, Assistant Administrator Global Health Bureau, USAID

Co-Chair Anuradha Gupta (AS & MD-NRHM, MoHFW, India)

“The private sector is very important, but the modality needs to be worked out properly. The Partnership has done a commendable job in bringing the focus back on the ‘continuum of care’ approach, and integrating the different components within the continuum.” Ms Gupta mentioned legislation: “To build any effective partnership, we really need to build trust.” However, she pointed out, that “in light of new challenges, we need to re-evaluate traditional partnerships. Within this framework of Universal Health Coverage, we need to prioritize marginalized populations such as women and children.”

PMNCH Director Carole Presern

Private Sector involvement for Child Survival and Development Approaches, Opportunities and Challenges

Dr Presern mentioned that there would be a Global Newborn Action Plan developed in the coming year. She pointed out that Intel has been doing a lot on medical education. And she questioned where one can have the dialogue about what to do? “Some basic back-of-the envelope mapping of who is doing what needs to be done,” said Dr Presern. “The Partnership can help with advocacy in many different forums”

Gary Cohen, CEO of the MDG Health Alliance

Leveraging Private Sector Support: India Business Coalition

On behalf of MDG Health Alliance, Mr Cohen congratulated Government of India on the work done in area of Zinc and ORS. Mr Cohen mentioned the Commission, highlighting ORS and Zinc as critical interventions for diarrhea. Classifying ORS as a fruit product would escalate its distribution and access.

Mr Cohen pointed to the release of a new private sector engagement framework at the summit which includes corporate social responsibility, technology & development, market-based approaches, and stakeholder engagement. He also mentioned that advocacy, technology, policy, funding, training and clinical data must be brought into alignment through collaboration. “The private sector’s role should not be homogenous,” said Mr Cohen. He highlighted the partnership “Together for girls”, which will address violence against children. He pointed to India’s system, noting it was one of the most privatized health systems in the world. “Collaboration requires specific skills,” said Mr Cohen. He ended by mentioning a “sense of urgency. We have only 3 years left till 2015. ”

Sam Sharpe, UK’s Head Department for International Development, India

Leveraging funds for Child Survival

“We know that Overseas Development Assistance will be declining in the future,” said Mr Sharpe. He pointed out that the focus of this assistance will shift from financing to partnership and technical assistance. “We want to focus on areas where some initial seed financing would be helpful,” he said. “The reasons for child deaths will not remain the same in 10 years time. We need to think what they will be.”

Dr. Sharad Sapra, Representative, UNICEF, Uganda; Ms. Ankhi Das, Head of Public Policy, Facebook India

Leveraging potential of mobile technologies for social mobilization and promoting accountability

Dr Sharad Sapre said that field managers want to know what is happening right now. He alluded to the fact that technology enables you to access data when you need it and highlighted that in Uganda, youth are being leveraged as change agents.

Ankhi Dass mentioned that the government must work with industry to reduce data packages pricing for mobile and internet platforms if it is serious about leveraging social media for change.

Siddharth Vardarajan, Editor, The Hindu

Galvanizing Media for Child Survival

“It will be best if the Media is a difficult partner,” said Siddharth Vardarajan. He alluded to the fact that public-private partnership and other collaborations should not be used to absolve the government of its responsibilities. “Having a healthy debate in the media about the future trajectory of health is important,” said Vardarajan.