Reportaje

International Health Partnership launch

05 September 2007

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ihp240.jpgFrom left to right: Norwegian Prime Minister
Jens Stoltenberg, UNAIDS Deputy Executive
Director Michel Sidibe, British Prime Minister
Gordon Brown, and Dr Margaret Chan, Director-
General of the World Health Organization
(Photo:  Richard Lewis/Crown Copyright)  

Leaders from donor countries, funding organizations, developing nations, and international agencies came together in London on Wednesday 5 September to launch a new international partnership to help improve healthcare systems in the developing world.

Led by the government of the United Kingdom, the International Health Partnership was launched formally by UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown at an event at 10 Downing Street, London.

The initiative aims to increase donor, country and international coordination on health and development issues in order to drive forward work on the health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, and halting and reversing the spread of HIV.

Following a roundtable discussion focusing on implementation, participants signed a compact to work within countries’ national plans and improve coordination in order to address problems related to health worker staffing, infrastructure, health commodities, logistics, tracking progress, and effective financing. Partners will work together to ensure that health plans are well-designed, well-supported and well-implemented and to make their work more effective and better aligned with developing countries’ established priorities.

In a statement released on Wednesday 5 by the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Gordon Brown said, “There is no greater cause than that every man, woman and child in the world should be able to benefit from the best medicine and healthcare. Today we come together – donor governments, health agencies and developing countries – with the certainty that we have the knowledge and the power to save millions of lives through our efforts.”

In an initial phase, seven ‘first wave’ countries – Burundi, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Nepal and Zambia – have joined the partnership and participated in the London event. Also attending were Heads of State and ministers from donor countries such as Norway and Canada and senior figures from international agencies, including UNAIDS. Philanthropist Bill Gates attended on behalf of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Speaking at the event, UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director Michel Sidibe underlined the importance of the partnership. “To improve global health, it is critical that we have better coordination and mutual accountability from all parties: countries, donors, and the international organizations.” he said. “The International Health Partnership will be crucial in order to deliver on our commitments to the targets of Universal Access to HIV prevention, treatment, care, and support, and in reaching all the health-related Millennium Development Goals. The global response to AIDS has shown us that increased coordination can lead to progress. We also need to stay focused on the concrete results that we are all committed to, at the same time putting in place predictable, scaled-up financing for a long-term sustainable response.”

A joint statement from international health partners – UNAIDS, The GAVI Alliance, Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, UNICEF, United Nations Population Fund, World Bank and the World Health Organization – welcomed the initiative: “We, as international health partners committed to improving health and development outcomes in the world, welcome and fully support the International Health Partnership's mission to strengthen health systems, and we congratulate those involved for setting it in motion.”

“We will be coordinated and accountable in this work and take every opportunity to capture knowledge and lessons learned in improving health programmes,” the partners stated.

The International Health Partnership is the first of several complementary initiatives being launched by donor countries over the next several weeks as part of a new Global Campaign for the Health Millennium Development Goals. More information will be featured in the coming weeks on the UNAIDS website.


Links:

Read the joint statement by international health partners
Read the UK press release
More on the International Health Partnership

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