Achieving maternal, newborn related SDGs challenging: DPM Yadav


Kathmandu, Dec 12 : Deputy Prime Minister and Minister For Health And Population, Upendra Yadav, has said although Nepal has directed concerted efforts to address the major killers of mothers, newborn and children, achieving the maternal and newborn related SDGs targets with equity was a tremendous challenge. For this partnership is imperative, he added.

Giving remarks at Partners’ Forum 2018 in New Delhi on Wednesday, DPM Yadav shared Nepal’s notable progress in the realization of the goals related to child and maternal health. Nepal achieved the MDGs target in reducing child mortality while it was nearly there in reaching the target on maternal mortality, he added.

He informed that the Constitution of Nepal has ensured health as the fundamental human right of the people. Policy and legal framework, as well as service delivery mechanism have been devised accordingly in an effort to realize his constitutional vision, DPM said, adding that when it comes to child and maternal health, Nepal has a robust Safe Motherhood and Reproductive Health Act.

According to him, maternal, newborn and child health services have been included in the basic health service package and have been provided through all levels of health facilities for free. This requires a partnership approach across all levels of government and among various sectors.

“‘Health in All’ policy is the need of the hour and this approach has been increasingly being emphasized as the strategy to mobilize multi-sectoral action for health across the government and to increase policy coherence. As a part of the institutional set up of this holistic approach, we have constituted a multi-sectoral Board under the Public Health Service Act,” he mentioned.

According to him, while the shift from MDGs to SDGs has allowed more opportunity for multi- sectoral approach, it also requires change in the mindset, innovative ways, partnerships and governance not only at the government’s level, but also for civil society, the private sector and the research community.

The DPM was of the view that the fundamental importance of reliable, timely and disaggregated data and statistics to monitor the equitable progress of maternal, newborn and child health indicators should not be ignored. In addition, other existing health system challenges like human resources for health, infrastructure, service delivery, financing, and logistics require multi-sectoral approach and systemic thinking as well.

The overall empowerment of women and girls is integral to all dimensions of inclusive and sustainable development goals, the DPM asserted.

“In Nepal, growth in the literacy rate of women; their empowerment through various community based programmes and the gradual social and cultural transformation has allowed women to increasingly access health services for themselves and their children which will eventually contribute in achieving the targets of SGDs,” he shared in the event.

Earlier, Deputy Prime Minister Yadav also called on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and held bilateral talks with the latter, according to the Nepali Embassy in New Delhi. RSS