By; MATTHEW UKACHUNWA, Lagos
World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have signed a new collaborative framework to prioritize universal health coverage through a primary healthcare and health systems approach.
The agreement covers the prioritization of mental health and psychological well-being and development, public health emergencies as well as maternal and child nutrition.
The agreement which was signed on 18th September 2020 will accelerate joint public health efforts that put the most marginalized and vulnerable population first, the signatories said.
According to the two UN organs, the new collaborative framework is building on a 70-year old collaboration between the two organizations.
“Additionally, the two organizations signed a new Joint Programme on Mental Health and Psychological Well-being and Development of Children and Adolescents,” WHO said in a Press release.
It explained that the 10-year collaborative effort will promote mental health and psychological well-being and conditions, and increase access to care for mental health conditions, reduce suffering and enhance quality of life among children and adolescents, and their caregivers.
WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Gbebreyesus said: “At the heart of our work with UNICEF is seeing that every child not only survives but ultimately thrives and transforms their communities and future generations.
“With great appreciation and respect for our unique and complementary roles, we stand together in our commitment to achieve health for all As this pandemic (Novel Coronavirus disease – COVID-19) demonstrates, no one is safe until everyone is safe.”
The two organizations are also working together to support countries to introduce and deliver COVID-19 vaccines under the vaccines of the “Access to COVID-19 Tools – Accelerator” ( ACT-A) initiative , along with Gevi, CEPI and global immunization partners, WHO disclosed in the statement titled: “WHO and UNICEF Recommit to Accelerating Health and Well-being At All Ages.”
“Additionally”, WHO clarified, “the organizations are strengthening health systems through primary healthcare, as agreed in the Declaration of Astana, and the UN High-level declaration on UHC, in order to accelerate achievement of universal health coverage and Sustainable Development Goal 3 targets by 2030”