GHC Submitted Statement at WHA on Maternal Infant and Young Child Nutrition

Chairperson, Director General, honorable delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen.

Thank you for the opportunity to address the 67th World Health Assembly. I speak on behalf of the Global Health Council .

Two years after the adoption of the Comprehensive Implementation Plan on Maternal nutrition, infant and young child nutrition”, the first report of progress underlines the slow progress regarding some objectives such as exclusive breastfeeding and stunting and stagnation notably on the wasting target.

Today the list of evidence based direct interventions that have been proven to be effective in reducing undernutrition are well known and 90% of them rely on the health system. The scale-up of these interventions depends on the ability of health systems to deliver and their integration within primary health care.

However health professional and NGOs actors can witness everyday that this remains the exception rather than the rule and the coverage of nutrition interventions remains dramatically low in many countries

While the Secretariat’s report underlines the lack of progress, it does not call on Member States, the Secretariat, or International partners to do more or better in these areas. The report also fails to ensure consistency between the six global targets of the CIP and other elements that are on the agenda of the Assembly, such as the Every Newborn Action Plan, , or with the on-going negotiations on the future post- 2015 development framework  agenda”.

In order to ensure the necessary scale up and the reduction of child mortality and morbidy linked to undernutrition we call on the WHO Secretariat, Regional and National Offices, Member States and International Partner to:

  • Increase their support to achieve an accurate diagnosis of health systems, to define priority areas of strengthening in order to ensure effective integration of nutrition interventions throughout all levels of health service delivery;
  • Optimize the links and coordination between frameworks, diagnosis tools, technical expertise and funding dedicated to health system strengthening and to nutrition at all levels;
  • Include a “tracer indicator” within the future Global Monitoring Framework, specifically dealing with the effective integration of nutrition interventions into health systems and ask the Secretariat to specifically report on this issue;
  • Ensure consistency between the six global targets of the CIP, ongoing health system reforms discussion and the future global Post 2015 Development Agenda framework;
  • Agree to Adopt during the 68th WHA a new resolution highlighting the need for an appropriate and systematic integration of nutrition interventions into all building blocks of the health systems to ensure the effective and sustainable delivery of interventions for the management of malnutrition and other childhood illnesses.

This statement was filed in collaboration with the 1,000 Days Initiative.