REMARKS BY THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER AND MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND POPULATION, GOVERNMENT OF NEPAL
HON. MR. UPENDRA YADAV
“Partners’ Forum 2018”
(Inauguration Session, 12 Dec 2018, Bigyan Bhawan, New Delhi)
- His Excellency Shri Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India
- His Excellency Shri J P Nadda, Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India
- Dignitaries on the dais
- Distinguished delegates
- Ladies and Gentlemen.
Very Good Morning to all!
It is a great pleasure and honour for me to participate in this important Partners’ Forum, which over the years has become a unique constellation of governments, international organizations, civil society, private sectors, healthcare experts, researchers and financing agencies. Together our mission is clear:
A mission to ensure good health and well being of every woman, child, and adolescent;
A mission to achieve, thereby, healthy and prosperous society.
We all know: the status of maternal, newborn and child health determines ultimately the status of health system of a country.
I am pleased to share with this august gathering that under the MDGs framework, Nepal made notable progress in the realization of the goals related to child and maternal health. We achieved the MDGs target in reducing child mortality while we were nearly there in reaching the target on maternal mortality. Today we continue to focus on the unfinished business of MDGs era.
Now under the framework of Sustainable Development Goals, we have directed concerted efforts to address the major killers of mothers, newborn and children. However, achieving the maternal and newborn related SDGs targets with equity is a tremendous challenge for Nepal. In this noble endeavor, we have a lot of expectation from the partnership forum like this. For us, this is an opportunity to share experiences, learn from each other and galvanize the much-needed international support.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Constitution of Nepal ensures health as the fundamental human right of the people. Policy and legal framework, as well as service delivery mechanism have been devised accordingly in an effort to realize his constitutional vision. When it comes to child and maternal health, we have a robust Safe Motherhood and Reproductive Health Act. Maternal, newborn and child health services have been included in the basic health service package and have been provided through all levels of health facilities for free. This requires a partnership approach across all levels of government and among various sectors.
‘Health in All’ policy is the need of the hour and this approach has been increasingly being emphasized as the strategy to mobilize multi-sectoral action for health across the government and to increase policy coherence. As a part of the institutional set up of this holistic approach, we have constituted a multi-sectoral Board under the Public Health Service Act.
While the shift from MDGs to SDGs has allowed more opportunity for multi- sectoral approach, it also requires change in the mindset, innovative ways, partnerships and governance not only at the government’s level, but also for civil society, the private sector and the research community.
The fundamental importance of reliable, timely and disaggregated data and statistics to monitor the equitable progress of maternal, newborn and child health indicators should not be ignored. In addition, other existing health system challenges like human resources for health, infrastructure, service delivery, financing, and logistics require multi-sectoral approach and systemic thinking as well.
The overall empowerment of women and girls is integral to all dimensions of inclusive and sustainable development goals. In Nepal, growth in the literacy rate of women; their empowerment through various community based programmes and the gradual social and cultural transformation has allowed women to increasingly access health services for themselves and their children which will eventually contribute in achieving the targets of SGDs.
The Government of Nepal is committed to achieving the Universal Health Coverage for all. The “Aama Programme”, which provides the incentive for safe delivery, the Social Health Insurance Programme and other free health care programmes are some examples of targeted interventions to address the financial barriers in accessing the health care for mothers and children.
I would like to conclude here by thanking the Ministry of Health of the Government of India and the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health for organizing this Forum. I look forward to constructive deliberations during the succeeding sessions.
I thank you for your kind attention