“Bold and ambitious” health indicators required
Geneva, 8 March 2013 - The global health leadership convened in Botswana this week with a “defining purpose” to set the way forward for health in the post-2015 development agenda.
Heads of Agencies from UNICEF, WHO, the Global Fund, UNFPA, the GAVI Alliance and UNAIDS were all joined by representatives from civil society, academia, and governments at this historic meeting to develop a common health position leading up to and beyond the post-2015 era.
The meeting was co-convened by the Governments of Botswana, Sweden, UNICEF and WHO and was held in Gaborone from 5-6 March 2013.
Educated, healthy people to support development
In the lead up to the meeting, the President of Botswana, Ian Khama, who opened the two-day session said, “every country needs educated healthy people to support development.”
Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of GAVI chaired the session on these inter-linkages with other sectors. All at the meeting agreed on establishing an overarching goal that would reflect the multifaceted nature of health and the importance of including nutrition, water, education, and the environment in the equation.
Within the next set of goals for development, Dr Berkley called for a set of “bold and ambitious indicators.”
Fully immunised child
One such health indicator would be a “fully immunised child” as a bold but practical measure of global health and development. Success would be measured when all 11 antigens universally recommended by WHO for all infants everywhere in the world become part of routine immunisation programmes worldwide.
“We have a chance with the next set of development goals to reset the conversation in areas like immunisation."
No longer would we be measuring by disease, but by a fully immunised child, the very nature of the people-centred approach to development expressed at the meeting.
The recommendations from the meeting will inform a report by the United Nations Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on the post-2015 development agenda which will be submitted to the Secretary-General in May 2013.
The UNSG will submit to Member States his report on the overall post-2015 development framework in September for discussion at the next UN General Assembly.