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Joint Statement on Ending Preventable Maternal, Newborn and Child Mortality

New Delhi, India - 16 December 2015

We, the representatives of the H4+ agencies in South and East Asia, jointly commit our continuing support to the governments across our regions towards ending preventable maternal, newborn and child deaths by 2030. We are also committed to help our regions progress toward meeting the global targets as adopted in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and proposed in the second Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health.

We acknowledge that there has been significant progress in reducing maternal and child mortality in the South and East Asia Regions in pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). However, newborn mortality and stillbirths still remain high in many countries while in some these are under-reported. In addition, there is significant inequity between and within countries and quality of care remains a concern. We recognize that much morbidity and mortality among women, newborns and children is preventable using well-known, evidence-based solutions, several of which are not associated with high cost or technology. Likewise, we recognize the importance of empowerment of women, the attainment of gender equality and promoting adolescent health to ensure the sustainable future of all countries.

The regional H4+ leadership urges Member States to prioritize universal coverage of essential interventions and highquality care urgently around the time of childbirth and the first days of life because of the dangerous implications during this period for women, their unborn babies and newborns. Evidence suggests that this strategy will accelerate reduction in newborn mortality and, at the same time, help reduce stillbirths and maternal mortality.

We pledge to work with governments to help strengthen their leadership and capacity to undertake time-bound actions to:

  • Mobilize sufficient, sustainable and equity-focused financing, adequate and skilled human resources, and essential commodities and equipment for maternal and newborn health care.
  • Improve management capacity to sustain strong health systems for high-quality service delivery, community participation to reach the unreached, and preparedness to maintain services in humanitarian emergencies and fragile settings.
  • Assume national accountability for results and resources through harmonized monitoring, reporting and use of relevant disaggregated health data, indicators and information; and upholding rights of women and children.
  • Enhance collaboration and coordination with donors and partners including civil society and the private sector.
  • Expand coverage of services for family planning, preventing adolescent pregnancies, prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis, prevention of birth defects; and enhance investment in early childhood development and adolescent health to ensure better chances of survival, good health and overall well-being.
  • Address, over time, the wider determinants of health, including but not limited to socioeconomic status; education, especially for girls; nutrition; water, sanitation and hygiene; the empowerment of women and gender equality through a multi-sectoral approach.

Please click here for original statement

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