Much more investment needed in health worldwide, say experts

Monday, November 15, 2010

NEW DELHI - Organisers of a two-day conference on maternal and child health in the Indian capital Monday said that more investments were needed to improve health services across the world.

“We need more money for health, and more health for money,” said Julio Frenk, chairman of Partnership for Maternal Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH) and Mexico’s former health minister.

Agreeing with Frenk, conference co-chair Health Secretary Sujatha Rao said that the India government is planning to increase its funding into education by 30 percent in next fiscal.

“We are expecting a 30 to 35 percent increase in health funds,” Rao said.

Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad earlier announced that India will invest $150 million in maternal and child health programmes in the next fiscal.

“World is not investing enough in health. It is a key component for national and economic growth and security,” he said.

The charter released at the end of the conference announces commitment to take more steps to achieve the MDG goals for maternal and child health.

The ‘Delhi Declaration made by the forum commits setting up “core indicators, integrated into country monitoring and evaluation mechanisms, so that all partners are accountable for the commitments and results agreed to in the global strategy”.

It will also create a “multi-stake holder process to ensure inclusiveness and participation, including the most vulnerable and marginalised”.

Harmonisation of existing efforts and regular progress reports to WHO are other major components of the advocacy, action and accountability commitments.

The forum has agreed to meet again in 2015 to review the progress and evaluate the achievements.

Frenk, who was Mexico’s health minister from 2000 to 2006, is at present dean of faculty and T. and G. Angelopoulos Professor of public health and international development at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Filed under: Medicine

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