New Delhi: When something happens in India, especially in the healthcare front, it has the potential to make a difference to the whole world,” said Union Health Secretary Preeti Sudan while speaking about the fourth edition of the Global Partners’ Forum that will see 1,200 members coming together with the common goal of furthering the health of the maternal, newborn and child health.
The fourth edition of the forum will be held on December 12 and 13 in New Delhi and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the two-day event that will be attended by members of 54 countries and see 28 ministers and three first ladies.
It is being co-hosted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India and the Partnership for Maternal, New Born and Child Health (PMNCH), a partnership hosted by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The invited countries, which have been selected across income levels and regions, will be highlighting their “Success Factor” case studies at the diverse partnership.
The goal for the partnership is to achieve universal access to comprehensive, high-quality health care and India is one of the partner countries, alongside Indonesia, Tanzania and Nigeria. Apart from this, the PMNCH also includes academics and teaching institutions, donors and foundations, healthcare professionals, multilateral agencies like the WHO, donors like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, NGOs like Save the Children among others.
“The first time I attended a meeting, I was a little apprehensive as to how decision-making and approvals will come in such a partnership forum,” admitted Sudan, adding, “But it’s amazing because people rise above their constituencies and advocacies…it is a fascinating process.”
The role India will be played up during the conference and the larger goal of working towards better health care will be the key goal. “When something happens in India, especially in the healthcare front, it can make a difference to the whole world. The other thing is that India is very diverse. We are many countries in one. There are some states that have done better than the West. If you look at sustainable development goals, six of those states are almost there or have already achieved their sustainable development goals,” Sudan added.
Kerala, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu have already achieved the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of reducing the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) to less than 70 per 1,00,000 live births, well before the time limit of 2030 -- as per the ministry, while India has met the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target for MMR of 139/lakh live births by achieving 130 by 2015.
For India, the forum will bring global attention to innovative approaches at national and state levels to reach targets to improve the health of women, children and adolescents, underscoring the government’s commitment to scaled programming for the health of women, children and adolescents, and contribution to South-South learning.
“We will have an ‘India Day’. We are sitting down with the different states (in India) and the international community. There are three parts - first on services, then on Ayushman Bharat, Mission Indra Dhanush and then will be discussing enablers…so states will bring their best practices and finally the third thing is community engagement,” Sudan pointed out.
The case study selected by India is the Intensified Mission Indradhanush, a collaboration between the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and 11 other ministries to increase immunisation coverage among children and pregnant women to 90% by 2020.
Case studies from other Countries
Germany: Promoting early childhood interventions for families in need through the establishment of cross-sectoral and cross- administrative (national, federal state and municipality) networks nationwide. Case study lead: National Centre on Early Prevention.
Chile: Chile Crece Contigo (Chile grows with you), an innovative social protection policy to cover all Chilean children and their families with specialised services for those with major vulnerabilities. Case study lead: Universidad de Santiago de Chile.
Cambodia: Identification of Poor Households (ID Poor), a collaborative effort between health, education, agriculture, interior and social protection sectors to collect better data and improve the targeting of development programmes, many of which focus on maternal and child health. Case study lead: Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in Cambodia.
USA: Voices for Healthy Kids, an initiative that engages, mobilises and organises people in support of advancing policies that increase children’s access to healthy foods and to safe places for physical activity. Case study lead: American Heart Association.
Indonesia: Delivering essential nutrition interventions through schools, a collaborative initiative between the Ministries of Health, Education, and Religious Affairs to tackle anaemia for adolescent girls. Case study lead: Nutrition International.
Malawi: Chipatala Cha PaFoni (Health Centre by Phone), an innovative collaboration for a toll-free hotline to increase rural people’s access to health and nutrition information, including youth-friendly content. Case study lead: VillageReach.
Malaysia: Fast-track to universal coverage of HPV immunisation, a collaboration between the Ministries of Health and Education and working closely with the private sector, religious authorities and families to increase coverage of HPV immunisation. Case study lead: Ministry of Health.
South Africa: She Conquers — a national campaign including collaboration of many government departments, stakeholder groups and young people to address the burden of HIV and empower adolescent girls and young women to take control of their future. Case study lead: National Department of Health.
Guatemala: Monitoring by health service users to improve quality of care, a multi-stakeholder collaboration to improve the delivery of timely, quality services that respect the dignity of Guatemala’s 3.5 million indigenous people. Case study leads: ALIANMISAR and Health and Education Policy Plus (HEP+).
Humanitarian and fragile settings
Sierra Leone: Pikin to Pikin Tok, a child participatory radio and education programme to support Ebola-affected children and their communities, with a focus on addressing gender inequalities exacerbated by the Ebola crisis. Case study lead: Child to Child.
Afghanistan: Implementation of the Basic Package of Health Services, a multi-stakeholder collaboration to improve access to quality essential health services, water, sanitation, hygiene and nutrition. Case study lead: Aga Khan University.