World Vision Highlights Gaps in UN Action Plan for Maternal Health

The U.N.’s joint action plan on maternal health does not address some of the most important action points toward reducing maternal death rates in developing countries, according to World Vision.

The action plan was introduced by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in April and was formally launched on June 7 during the Women Deliver Conference 2010 in Washington.

The action plan is a welcome development in the fight to curb maternal and child health but it still “leaves some crucial gaps that need to be addressed,” World Vision International President and Chief Executive Officer Kevin Jenkins said in a statement.

The plan needs to put more emphasis to family and community care because inadequate community focus could hamper the international community’s efforts, according to Jenkins.

“To succeed in achieving Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5, health care options must be brought closer to households, and barriers to using these services must be reduced,” he explains.

The action plan, World Visions says, also does not address the need to improve coordination of health efforts across all levels.

“This is a regrettable oversight given the recent explosion in the number of global health partnerships,” Jenkin explains. “Streamlined and coordinated reporting that links investments to health outcomes is needed to bolster accountability and improve effectiveness at the family and community level.”

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.