Analysing the Commitments to Advance the Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health
PRESS RELEASE: PMNCH Report 2011
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Massive Push to Improve the Health of Women and Children: Tens of billions have been committed from both rich and poor countries
20 SEPTEMBER 2011 | GENEVA/NEW YORK - In only one year, more than 100 countries, foundations, multilateral organizations, the UN, the private sector, and academic and professional associations have made unprecedented financial and political commitments to greatly improve the health of women and children.
Notably, 44 of the world’s poorest countries — among them Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Burundi, and Nepal — have now joined the Every Woman, Every Child effort, which takes forward the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health, launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in September 2010. This brings the total number of partners in this joint effort to more than 200.
These nations have committed almost $11 billion of their own limited resources to the global effort to reduce the annual death toll and improve the health of this group, according to a report released today, Analysing Commitments to Advance the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health, from The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH).
Equally, these countries have made many important policy and service delivery commitments, many of which have not been monetized. These include:
- Bangladesh commits to double the percentage of births attended by a skilled health worker by 2015 and train 3,000 midwives;
- Ethiopia pledges to increase the proportion of births attended by a skilled professional from 18% to 60%;
- Nepal undertakes to train and deploy 10,000 additional skilled birth attendants and fund free maternal health services among hard-to-reach populations;
- Congo commits to reducing maternal mortality and morbidity by 20% by 2015 and will provide free obstetric care and free access to caesarian sections;
- Benin will increase access to life-saving drugs for HIV+ pregnant women, covering up to 90% of those in need;
- Indonesia will pay for at least 1.5 million deliveries by poor women in 2011.
Supporting these efforts, significant financial commitments were made by other stakeholders:
- High-income governments pledging $13.7 billion
- Middle-income governments committing $5.1 billion
- Non-governmental organizations: $5.4 billion
- United Nations and other multilateral organizations: $0.6 billion
- Global partnerships: $3.3 billion
- Foundations: $2.2 billion
- Private sector: $1.1 billion
- Health-care professional groups and academic institutions: $31 million
PMNCH calculated commitments amounting to $41.4 billion through May of 2011. Today, more than 100 new commitments, including major initiatives from the private sector, will be announced at a special event during the UN General Assembly to highlight progress in implementing the commitments.
“There is now unprecedented global collective action around women’s and children’s health,” says Dr. Julio Frenk, Chair of PMNCH and Dean of the Harvard School of Public Health. “This type of joint action is critical to meeting the MDG targets and saving 16 million lives by 2015, as set out in the Global Strategy.”
The Global Strategy was created to set out a clear plan of action to accelerate and coordinate efforts to meet Millennium Development Goal 4 to reduce the mortality rate of children under 5 and Millennium Development Goal 5 to improve maternal health.
According to the most recent data, 39 of the world’s poorest 49 nations, most in south Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, were not on track to meet the child mortality goal and 47 were off-track in meeting the maternal mortality goal. According to the most recent UN estimates, approximately 358,000 women die due to complications related to pregnancy or childbirth each year, and 7.6 million newborns and children under the age of five die each year.
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