New Delhi: Shri J P Nadda, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare chaired the closing session of the two-day “Global Call to Action Summit 2015- ending preventable maternal and child deaths”, co-hosted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India and the Health Ministry of Ethiopia, in partnership with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Tata Trusts, UNICEF, USAID and WHO, here today. The “Delhi Declaration” was signed at the end of the summit which saw participation of Health Ministers and heads of country delegations from 22 countries.
On the occasion, the Health Minister said community partnerships and accountability of mechanisms are critical to health systems strengthening and last mile service delivery; mobilizing community support and optimizing resources to consolidate gains. He urged all leaders from participating countries to “commit to a culture of evidence-based decision-making, strengthen accountability of national health systems and align resources to those with the greatest need.”
He said, our challenges are common but ways of addressing them come from investments in strengthening healthcare and orchestrating health reform. Providing healthcare is not a mechanical function, but an integral part of a universal and transformative sustainable development agenda. So, we need to work together and carve out mechanisms of partnerships that will help us reach the Sustainable Development Goals. Inclusion is the key to progress and provision of equitable services and universalizing access are pathways to change, he added.
The Health Minister said the Ministerial Conclave helped set the leadership agenda in the period of transition from the Millennium Development Goals and endorsement of the Sustainable Development Goals. In a short span of time we were able to issue the Third Global Call to Action Joint Statement which is a path-breaking declaration that reflects country commitments to the health and well-being of women and children and ending preventable deaths, he added. The Health Minister added that India will lead the efforts to demonstrate global progress in maternal and child health by working closely with global partners to make sure that the post 2015 development agenda will advance the cause of ending preventable child and maternal deaths.
He said, Public-Private Partnerships are also emerging as game-changers and we need to take advantage of the support offered by corporate sector and industry to better health systems performance and delivery. He further added that today, geographical boundaries are being breached by technological innovations such as mobile telephony and information and communication technologies. So, we need to use technology for maximum good and to broden the scope of healthcare.
Speaking at the summit, Shri B P Sharma, Secretary (Health and Family Welfare) said that evidence based decision making and community level accountability are the cornerstones of a functional and impactful public health service delivery system. He emphasized the importance of cross-learnings from the experience of other countries. He also highlighted the existing accountability structures within the National Health Mission.
Mr. Richard Verma, Ambassador of the USA to India was also present at the closing ceremony of the summit. Speaking on the occasion, he stated that we need to continue our collaborative partnership to help reduce maternal and child deaths through causes that can be easily avoided. He added that the USA is ready to align its efforts towards the targets set in the Delhi Declaration.
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