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Global partners commit to improve Maternal, Newborn and Child Health

Ten Ministries of Health with country, regional and global partners have resolved to strengthen collaboration towards improving maternal, newborn and child health through sustained quality of care at all levels of the health system.

This commitment was made at the global meeting of the Network for improving quality of care for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) held in Ghana. The meeting was co-organized by the Ministry of Health, Ghana, the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF on the theme: Sustaining and scaling up quality of care for MNCH.

In his keynote address, Ghana's Minister of Health, Hon. Kwaku Agyeman-Manu underscored the role of Primary Health Care (PHC) systems in ensuring the availability of quality services for mothers, newborns and children. He, therefore, called for stronger collaboration among the Network countries and partners to accelerate the attainment of Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

"Our ambition for Universal Coverage will only be an illusion if we are not conscious of the quality of care," added Hon. Kwaku Agyeman-Manu.

This meeting was aimed at engaging with the champions from government, implementing partners and other stakeholders to reflect on five years of efforts to integrate quality of care in health systems and maternal, newborn and child health interventions.

The WHO Acting Assistant Director-General for UHC, Dr Anshu Banerjee highlighted the importance of quality of care in the prevention of maternal mortality and called on countries to integrate quality of care into health systems.

"We must include quality of care in national strategic plans and ensure that it is effectively implemented at all levels of care," Dr Anshu Banerjee stated.

On his part, the WHO Representative to Ghana, Dr Francis Kasolo, noted the progress Network countries, including Ghana have made in strengthening the health system to provide quality care and called for continuous knowledge sharing to consolidate the gains.

"Leveraging our collective experience of care and engagement of the community in this regard provides a good pathway to scale up across Network countries". Dr Kasolo said.

Stakeholders at the meeting committed to ensuring the rights and equity in quality of care for the most vulnerable women, newborns and children whilst also recognizing the need to learn from and share emerging innovations to improve quality of care.

They also reaffirmed their commitment to improving people-centred care, including women's newborns', children's and families' experience of care and continue to develop national learning systems that facilitate documentation and knowledge exchange in support of scaling up of high-quality maternal, newborn and child health services.

"These commitments reflect our collective determination as countries and partners to deepen our ongoing joint efforts towards improving the health and wellbeing of mothers, newborns and children through the quality of care initiative," noted Dr Roseline Doe, the Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH) Officer at WHO Ghana.

The meeting brought together Ministries of Health from 11 countries – Bangladesh, Côte d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, India, Malawi, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Uganda as well as national, regional and global partners, development organizations, NGOs, private sector, academia and research institutions.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of World Health Organization (WHO), Ghana.
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