Governments must fill the critical gaps between national health care systems and local healthcare needs. From the experiences of organisations such as World Vision in over 100 countries, we know that the following three key interventions work:
1. Maternal health; 2. Child and maternal nutrition âbreastfeeding support and promotion, provision of micronutrients, community education regarding how to grow, reap, and prepare nutritious meals and; 3. Disease prevention â through disease specific interventions and access to portable water, proper latrines and by ensuring communities are informed and empowered to improve their own health by changing their own behaviour and claiming their right to services.
We particularly encourage the legislators to ensure: the adopted resolution encourages partnerships between parliaments and relevant stakeholders in pursuit of the health-related MDGs; guarantees equal access to health services for all women and children without discrimination and provides for essential health services free at the point of use for all children and pregnant women and; strengthens parliaments to exercise their oversight and accountability functions throughout the budgetary process to ensure adequate allocation of domestic expenditures for reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health commensurate with the gap between existing resources and those necessary to achieve MDGs 4 &5 at the national level.
Lastly, we encourage the IPU delegates to ensure their respective governments are held accountable on their commitments to the UN Every Woman Every Child Strategy. Together we can end preventable deaths.
The writer works with World Vision International as a Child and Maternal Health Campaigner.