PMNCH Board signals continued commitment to closer alignment among core partners of Every Woman Every Child

The PMNCH Board has expressed its continued commitment to closer alignment with Every Woman Every Child (EWEC) partners, at its 21st Board meeting in Lilongwe, Malawi, 13-14 December, the Board expressed its appreciation for the development of a recent independent consultancy report led by Dr Peter Colenso, and agreed to formulate a PMNCH position paper in response.

The Board also committed to developing a value-added proposition document to clearly delineate PMNCH’s role and functions in the context of Every Woman Every Child, and to convene a meeting of senior leaders of EWEC partners to undertake further discussions. The timeline for completing this process is Q2 2018.

The decision points were agreed at the two-day Board Meeting hosted by the Government of the Republic of Malawi. Honorable Atupele Muluzi, MP, Minister of Health and Population, opened the meeting and was joined by Dr Charles Mwansambo, Permanent Secretary of the Malawi Ministry of Health.

Honorable Atupele Muluzi, MP, Minister of Health and Population opens the PMNCH Board meeting
Honorable Atupele Muluzi, MP, Minister of Health and Population opens the PMNCH Board meeting

This decision on closer alignment has been strengthened by the presentation to the board of an extensive consultation with about fifty stakeholders to identify opportunities for alignment between the four core entities of EWEC namely: the Executive Office of the Secretary-General and High- Level Steering Group; PMNCH; H6; and the Global Financing Facility. The position paper will respond to the recommendations of the consultation, which outlines several options that that would help improve how core partners of the Every Woman Every Child movement work together and leverage their unique functions to maximize impact for the Global Strategy.

The Board discussed key activities for the 2018 PMNCH workplan and requested the Secretariat to establish an ad-hoc working group to guide the finalization of the workplan themes and operational structures.

Nana Kuo, Office of the Secretary General, speaking at the PMNCH Board meeting

Through the Every Woman Every Child 2018–2020 Partners’ Framework, PMNCH and partners have committed to contributing to the Survive, Thrive, Transform goals of the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health across six thematic areas: Early Childhood Development; Adolescents’ Health and Well-being; Quality, Equity and Dignity (QED); Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, Empowerment of Women, Girls and Communities; Humanitarian and Fragile Settings.

PMNCH commits to working in partnership with Malawi

The Board meeting also included a side event with His Excellency Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika, President of the Republic of Malawi and First Lady Gertrude Mutharika, who joined PMNCH Board Chair Graça Machel and Board members at a Presidential Dialogue organized by the Government of Malawi. The dialogue, entitled Realizing the Potential of the SDG Generation, looked at SRMNCAH issues in Malawi with a particular focus on adolescent health and wellbeing,

Speaking at the event, Mrs Machel described Malawi as “a good example of how to acknowledge challenges and confront them head on.” She spoke of the Partnership’s work in countries such as India and Malawi to support the establishment of multi-stakeholder partnerships as a critical entry point to advancing policies on adolescent health and wellbeing. She also went on to offer the technical resources of PMNCH’s 10 constituencies to Malawi, saying, “We are here for you, we are here for the women and children of this great nation.”

Board members including PMNCH Chair Graça Machel join President Mutharika and First Lady Gertrude Mutharika for group photo

In front of the audience of some 1,000 participants, media and supporters, President Mutharika reaffirmed Malawi’s commitment to ending preventable deaths of women and children and protecting the girl child through various policies. “Since 2015, the prevalence of child marriages has declined from 52 percent to 46 percent in 2016, we believe we are on the right path, our goal is to empower adolescent girls and young women to become the driving force of economic and social prosperity in our communities,” he said. President Mutharika also expressed his appreciation of PMNCH’s role in strengthening cross-sectoral collaboration and underlined the importance of a collective drive to push forward the agenda for maternal and child health in Malawi.