Delivering intervention on agenda item 12: WHO Director General’s report on Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescent’s Health (2016 -2030), at the World Health Assembly Meeting’s Committee session, Health Minister Hon. Dr Culwick Togamana calls for inclusiveness at decision making levels and implementation of health programs to tackle existing inequalities in access to health services.
Dr Togamana commenced his interventions by acknowledging significant progresses and improvements in access to reproductive, maternal, new born, child and adolescent health services observed in the Western pacific Region as outlined in the report for which he described as remarkable.
“Chair, in Solomon Islands we have completed our first Sexual, Reproductive Maternal, New Born, Child and Adolescent Health Policy Survey in 2023. Also, early this year we have commenced the roll out of Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) coaching to improve survival of preterm and low-birth-weight babies. Coaching on Kangaroo care is currently being rolled out to the provinces and we hope to cover all our provinces by the end of this year”,
“In 2019, the New Antenatal Care (ANC) Guidelines were adopted by MHMS with five key interventions: nutritional interventions, maternal and fetal assessment, preventive measures, interventions and health system interventions to improve the utilization and quality of ANC”, stated Dr Togamana.
He however highlighted that it is concerning that there remains significant work to address inequalities in access to and quality of Reproductive, Maternal, Child and Adolescents (RMNCAH) health. “This is a huge challenge that is also facing Solomon Islands. Therefore, amongst many initiatives already being implemented it is important that we continue to strengthen ways in which the vulnerable and marginalized members of our society, those who are disadvantaged by age, sex, disability etc to also participate meaningfully at decision making levels and implementation of Reproductive, Maternal, Child and Adolescent programs and services”.
He said in doing so, policies and practice must gear towards greater inclusiveness of these groups of people to ensure that services are planned, designed and delivered in consideration to the various concerns, difficulties and issues these important groups of our population have. This is how we can ensure that everyone has equal access to health services that is meant for them.