Promoting health through the life-course

Family, Women’s and Children’s Health and the High-Level Political Forum

10-19 July 2017

Partners launch report that measures progress towards ambitious targets set to improve health of women, children and adolescents

Infographics about 2017 Progress report

18 JULY 2017– NEW YORK. WHO Director-General Dr Tedros, UNAIDS head Michel Sidibé, Chilean Vice-Minister of Public Health Dr Jaime Burrows and Independent Accountability Panel co-chair Kul Gautam areamong the speakers at a high level event to launch the first progress report on the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health (2016-2030). The event is part of the High Level Political Forum (HLPF), the main forum bringing countries and partners together to review progress on the Sustainable Development Goals. At this year’s HLPF, the review focused on six SDGs, including goal 3 (health) and goal 5 (gender equality).

The progress report gives a snapshot of the current status of implementation of the Global Strategy by analysing the latest available country data on Global Strategy’s 60 indicators, 34 of which come directly from the SDGs and an additional 26 taken from existing indexes and processes. This data, from WHO and other UN agencies, is included in an open-access online data portal launched in May 2017 on the World Health Organization’s Global Health Observatory website.

The report notes that despite general progress, including in some of the poorest countries, major challenges persist for the survival and well-being of women, children and adolescents.

WHO Director-General Dr Tedros highlighted that: “While we’ve brought down maternal and child deaths, progress is still too slow. At the present rate of change, it will be 160 years before a pregnant woman in Africa has the same chance of carrying her pregnancy through to a live birth as a woman in a high-income country.”

Dr Tedros also stressed that the key to unlocking overall SDG progress is to assure the right of every individual to basic health services, whoever they are, wherever they live. WHO recommends all countries focus on target 3.8: ensuring universal health coverage without impoverishment. To achieve UHC, it is important to focus on the most vulnerable – often women, children and adolescents in remote, resource-poor, and conflict settings.

The report also tracks the commitments of Every Woman Every Child partners, including countries, the private sector, intergovernmental bodies, academic, research and training institutions, philanthropy, foundations and health care professionals.

“Partnership is the driver of progress,” said Helga Fogstad, Executive Director of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, a coalition of over 800 organizations. “This report clearly demonstrates what can be achieved for every woman, child and adolescent when we work together and harness our respective strengths.”

The progress report will also be a key input at next year’s World Health Assembly, which passed a resolution in 2016 agreeing to regularly review progress towards the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health.