Landmark summit puts women at the heart of the global health agenda; WHO calls for a strengthened health workforce
The London Summit on Family Planning has delivered a historic global breakthrough giving access to family planning for 120 million women. The milestone will help stop 200,000 women and girls from dying in pregnancy and save the lives of 3 million babies across the world’s poorest countries. To help countries make the most of the commitments made at the Summit, WHO identified a set of recommended policy actions to help countries capitalize on this new opportunity, one of the recommended policy actions included: increasing the number of trained skilled health workers and redistributing tasks among existing health workers who have the right training, to help countries expand access to services.
Other WHO recommendations included: expanding the range of family planning choices on offer, making family planning an essential component of health care services provided during the antenatal period, making long-acting and permanent methods of family planning, available and acceptable and eliminating social and non-medical restrictions on the provision of contraceptives to adolescents to help reduce early pregnancy and the associated health risks. The WHO also released 6 policy briefs ahead of the Summit focusing on the most promising strategies to improve family planning care and strengthen sexual and reproductive health services in developing countries. One of the policy briefs is on optimizing the health workforce for effective family planning services. The Alliance worked actively with civil society organizations, board members, partners and the WHO to call for a strengthened workforce to deliver these services to women and girls in the world’s poorest countries.
Organized by DFID and the Gates Foundation, The Family Planning Summit was an opportunity to generate global commitments to make high quality, voluntary family planning services more available, accessible acceptable and affordable, and, in doing so, to accelerate the achievement of MDGs 4,5 and 6.