Improving women and children’s health a priority in Davos

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Improving women and children’s health a priority in Davos

26 January 2012

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the Archbishop Desmond Tutu during the 2012 World Economic Forum session to improve women’s and children’s health.
Credit: World Economic Forum

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the Archbishop Desmond Tutu have brought together leaders from the United Nations, governments, academia, civil society and private sector companies to identify ways to improve women’s and children’s health through innovative technologies and broad partnerships at the 2012 World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting taking place from 25 to 29 January in Davos, Switzerland.

Under the theme The Great Transformation: Shaping New Models, the WEF brings together a unique multi-stakeholder audience of global decision-makers, thought leaders and representatives of the world's biggest companies to shape the future of the world economy.

Speaking in today’s session, UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director, Management and External Relations, Jan Beagle, cited  the Global Plan towards the elimination of new HIV infections among children and keeping their mothers alive as a concrete example of the power of collaborative multi-stakeholder partnerships.  Partners and stakeholders are linking up in new and innovative ways, tapping capacities and sharing responsibility and accountability for results.

Stopping new HIV infections among children is a smart investment that saves both money and lives

Jan Beagle, UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director, Management and External Relations.

Stopping new HIV infections among children and keeping their mothers alive is essential to reach the Millennium Development Goals of reducing maternal mortality, child mortality and reversing the AIDS epidemic (MDG 4, 5,and 6). “Stopping new HIV infections among children is a smart investment that saves both money and lives,” said Ms Beagle. “The economic arguments are clear. For US$300 today we can prevent a baby from becoming infected and save 3 times as much per year for life which would otherwise be needed for treatment,” she added.

Momentum around the Global Plan, spearheaded by UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé and the United States Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Eric Goosby, is building quickly as countries prepare their national plans and begin implementing the 10-point roadmap outlined in the Global Plan. Neither technical nor scientific barriers stand in the way of responding to this global call to action. What is needed is leadership and a focus on inclusive approaches to reach the most vulnerable. There is also a need to catalyze synergies by integrating services and to unite movements.