Saving Lives Protecting Futures: Progress Report on the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health

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The Global Strategy has played an especially valuable role in bringing new attention and action to areas where progress has lagged the most, such as newborn survival, stillbirths, family planning, adolescent health, and access to life-saving commodities. This has translated into a rapid growth of global advocacy efforts and initiatives emerging since 2010, such as the Commission for Life-Saving Commodities, A Promise Renewed, Family Planning 2020, and Every Newborn Action Plan, to name a few.

Since 2010, 2.4 million lives of women and children have been saved – 40% of the total that would have been saved if the MDGs had been reached by 2015. Significant progress has also been made in scaling up coverage of the essential package of the interventions and services identified in the Global Strategy:

  • Coverage of oral rehydration therapy has increased by 49%
  • Exclusive breastfeeding has increased by 44%
  • 11 million additional women have given birth at a health facility
  • 8.4 million more women and girls use modern contraception
  • 67% of HIV-positive pregnant women received antiretroviral medicines n 2013, up from 48%. This improves their health and prevents HIV transmission to their babies.

However, other essential interventions and services, such as childhood vaccinations and care for neumonia, require further significant scale up if we are to save the lives of millions of women and children.

The overarching goal of the Global Strategy was to bring together and mobilize a broad array of partners from all sectors to join a global effort to reach the MDGs and improve the health and wellbeing of women and children in the poorest 49 countries. In this and in the growth of the Every Woman Every Child movement, it has been hugely successful.

The Global Strategy has also improved coordination, coherence and accountability, bringing together diverse partners and constituencies. Important initiatives have emerged ( A Promise Renewed, Family Planning 2020, Every Newborn Action Plan, UN Commission of Life-Saving Commodities, Ending Preventable Maternal Mortality, etc.) together with working groups on innovation, commodities, accountability and financing. The next step is to optimize communication, coordination and synergies

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