Thursday, November 30, 2023

Call to capture voices of marginalised groups

The High Level Dialogue on Health in the Post 2015 development agenda has noted the importance of capturing the voices of the marginalized groups in the post 2015 era on health.

This was said during a two day conference on health for the post 2015 era, co-convened by Governments of Botswana and Sweden with World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Reflections on the input of the health Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s) have revealed that the goals have failed to capture the broader dynamic of development enshrined in the Millennium declaration, including human rights, equity, democracy and governance.

The MDG’s 4, 5 and 6 include specific commitments to reduce child mortality, improve maternal health and combat HIV, malaria and other communicable diseases.

Anthony Lake, the Executive Director at UNICEF, said as the Millennium Development Goals deadline approaches, there is much to celebrate reduced poverty rates, the near eradication of polio, increased immunizations, great progress in combating AIDS.

“There is much more to do the most disadvantaged families, the least developed countries, and the most fragile nations continue to bear the heaviest burden of poor health and preventable deaths,” said Lake.

Focus in the post 2015 era seeks to address emerging and neglected health priorities, including non communicable diseases and sexual and reproductive health rights, focus on health systems through universal health coverage and access and consider the impact of other sectors on health.
The high level panel has recommended that in the post 2015 era, health must remain central to the post 2015 development agenda. The panel also proposed that health is an integral part of human wellbeing and should be at the centre of sustainable development.

The team recommended that post 2015 health goals must recognize the contribution of health to broader development and well being, and include targets to accelerate progress on the health related MDG’s.

In addition, the panel advised that health is a beneficiary of development, a contributor to development and key indicator of what people centered, rights based, inclusive and equitable development. Adding that the health MDG does galvanize widespread political and public attention to the importance of improving health and increased resources for health.

Dr Margaret Chan, the Director General at WHO, said the outcome of the deliberations will be taken to a high level panel of eminent people appointed by United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon to look at what will be the best route to take post the 2015 development agenda
Chan, however, noted that the health MDG’s have enabled the world to realize tremendous gains against major health and development concerns. On HIV, TB and Malaria, an ever increasing number of people have access to effective prevention, treatment and care.

The Millennium Development Goals, set to be completed by 2015, are pledges by UN member countries to increase living standards in poorer parts of the world.


Read this week's paper