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World Health Assembly Delegates Should Focus On U.N. Commission Recommendations For Life-Saving Commodities

“As part of Every Woman Every Child, the women and child health initiative launched in 2010 by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, technical experts got together to define [a] list of overlooked life-saving medicines and health supplies and to identify barriers preventing their access and use,” Nicole Schiegg, a consultant and former USAID adviser, writes in the Huffington Post’s “Global Motherhood” blog. “The 13 identified medicines, medical devices, and health supplies, if more widely accessed and properly used, could significantly reduce preventable deaths among women and children and improve their health from before potential pregnancy, to delivery, during the immediate post-delivery period, and childbirth,” she writes, noting, “Experts estimate we can save six million lives.”

Schiegg notes the U.N. Commission on Life-Saving Commodities, which compiled the list, also recommended 10 time-bound actions” that “focus on the need for improved global and local markets, innovative financing, quality strengthening, regulatory efficiency, improved national delivery of commodities, and better integration of private sector and consumer needs.” She continues, “Next week at the World Health Assembly, delegates will consider a resolution that promotes robust monitoring and evaluation on progress achieved towards the Commission’s recommendations at global and country-level,” and she states, “Delegates have an opportunity to accelerate implementation of the Commission’s recommendations by supporting this resolution” (5/17).