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Parliamentarians commit to improve health of women, children

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Over 30 parliamentarians from countries in WHO’s South-East Asia Region have committed to take measures to reduce preventable diseases and death among children and adolescents and to ensure their health and well-being.

After a two-day ‘South-Asia Regional Parliamentarians’ Meeting the participants committed to contribute towards increasing national budgets for health services for this key population. It would ensure access to and financial protection for quality reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health services within the provision of universal health coverage.

“The health of women, children and adolescents is critical to sustainable development –economic as well as social development. This population should be at the center of our efforts to achieve universal health coverage – with quality health care provided to everyone, everywhere,” Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia, said.

The parliamentarians agreed to work towards introducing or amending and implementing laws to protect rights of women, children and adolescents, including preventing child marriage.

Sing said the parliamentarians, who represent all sections of the society and cut across all political formations, can have the much needed influence in countries to make these changes happen.

Strengthening midwifery care for the mothers and newborns, making emergency services and family planning services available, facilitating good nutrition, empowering women and giving them equal opportunities, and addressing inequalities in healthcare, are among the key measures that the parliamentarians are best positioned to address and promote, the Regional Director said.

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