Optimism and Determination as Global Strategy Consultation Meeting Opens
The Government of India, which is championing country leadership in the updated Global Strategy, gave a very warm welcome to participants who traveled from far and wide to take part in this important consultation. Indian Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Shri Jagat Prakash Nadda, affirmed that women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health is “one of the most pressing issues for the global community” and central to Prime Minister Modi’s government agenda. Minister Nadda noted India’s significant achievements over the past two decades, including an impressive 70% decline in maternal mortality since 1990. However, the Minister also noted that progress has been uneven between and within countries, and that inequalities must be addressed. India, he said, has now identified 150 focus districts in order to tackle these inequities in access to and quality of health services.
PMNCH youth representative Yemurai Nyoni challenged participants to be prepared to have uncomfortable conversations which, he said, are necessary “because the results that we desire are uncommon, and the world we aspire to has never been lived by anyone.” Noting that there are 1.2 billion adolescents living in the world, he asserted, “if we count for so many, we should count much more.” This message resonated with the other panelists, as did Nyoni’s appeal to participants to ensure that youth have a seat and a voice at the decision-making table, including in the development of the strategy.
It was clear from the opening session that participants recognize the historic opportunity before them to end preventable deaths of women, adolescents and children by 2030, and are eager to roll up their sleeves to ensure that this vision is translated into a concrete strategy and implementation plan.