RT 2 – country comments

Below are some very brief notes of statements made by different countries at the Roundtable on Health and Education. These notes, for that is what they are, should not be taken as verbatim  

Hungary
We have a long tradition of providing knowledge based assistance. The speaker emphasised importance of physical education for lifting the self-esteem of people. Hungary is proving development assistance in training teachers. We have considerable experience in developing health care systems which are shared along with medical breakthroughs. Hungary committed to achieving health related MDGs. 
 
Lesotho
We have a situation in Lesotho where we think we will be able to achieve MDG 3. Indicators are that data is that Lesotho is on track to meet MDG 2. We have major challenges related to the goals related to health. The challenge is mainly down to HIV and AIDS which disproportionately affects the young and vulnerable. We call on developing countries to call on replenishment of the Global Fund, All MDGs are inter-related, and success in achieving goals 1 2 and 3 could be undermined by failure on the others. A major challenge is also resources where we need assistance.
 
Lichtenstein
Welcomed engagement of CSOs in the RT. Progress on education is crucial to achieve all the other MDGs. Our development projects work towards sustainable development including access to education for women and girls in rural areas at secondary level. Women’s empowerment is an urgent priority. Maternal and child mortality remain at an unacceptable level. My government prioritises the funding on vulnerable groups – such as children affected by HIV. They need access to healthcare to overcome other – it is a basic human right. Thanked the SG for his strategy and offered his full support. We want better accountability and have endorsed the Muskoka initiative which will help bring health MDGs up to speed. We are particularly worried by maternal and child health.
 
Vanuatu
Spoke on behalf of 14 countries. We have made some progress but much remains to be done. Quality of care, maternal health family planning, youth friendly services, STIs and HIV prevention and treatment are all vital – water and sanitation required across all countries across the Pacific. Most child deaths are from prevalent causes such as pneumonia, diarrhoea etc. Much could be done in regard to skilled birth attendants – as they can only reach 40% in most isolated parts of the country
 
Zimbabwe (President Robert Mugabe)
Education and health is taken very seriously. We realise that for a child to secure good education that child must be healthy. A healthy mind can only reside in a healthy body. We believe in healthcare delivery through a primary health focus. We remain (despite the downturn) determined to prioritise essential services in our national budget. We have given education 1st place in our budget. Health is also prioritised. We are committed to the Abuja 15% undertaking and to ensuring that all children can complete primary school education. Innovative healthcare financing remains a priority but we recognise the need of vibrant community participation in health financing. We have adopted the WHO guidelines on HIV in principle. We will under old guidelines work to achieve universal access goal. We have fought against HIV – 12,7 incidence. No woman should die giving life. We are very concerned about child and maternal mortality. We are committed to removing user fees in our fight against maternal and neo-natal mortality. We will establish a child, maternal fund to achieve MDGs 1, 4 and 5.  The sanctions are affecting the lives of our children, and our programmes related to health and education. We are confident of reaching the targets by 2015 if we can continue the momentum made.

Algeria – MoFA
We have made considerable progress in health and education but many in our region face major problems.
 
Honduras – President.
We are working to achieve the MDGs. Economic crises and natural disasters destroy our crops and infrastructure and hamper us in our tasks. Education and health are the chief priorities of our government. We are promoting education and health very strongly and are focusing on local and regional indicators which will engage parents, civil society etc We have a duty of solidarity with those who least.
 
Prince Albert of Monaco
Health and education is a priority for Monaco. I have expressly called on my government to increase ODA. Pandemics and NCDs, and development of hospital partnerships are priorities for our Development assistance. We support national programmes to support maternal and infant. We also invest in struggle against Malaria. We will sign up to SG’s Global Strategy.
 
Germany
Health and Education are human rights and vital for development and to achievement of all MDGs. We must continue to support developing country partners to support MDGs. Education is a priority in our development policy. We will step up efforts to achieve education around the world. Education helps improve health of women and girls, and reduces mortality rates. It helps to reduce violence and conflict. We are encouraged to take a holistic approach to improve quality of education and school retention rates. We are 2nd largest donor funder on education. We support the SG’s Global strategy. That is why as part of g8 we have pledged extra 400 million Euros to improve child and maternal health as part of Muskoka initiative.
 
Cuba – DPM
Cuba is making sustained progress to goals on health and education. 99.7 percent of children of primary school age are included in school network. More than 98% achieve 6th grade. In 2008, 86.9% are taught in groups of just 20. Unfair trade, hampered market access, trade issues, technological divide and unilateral blockades all get in the way to achieving MDGs – we must foster international alliance for development which should like at the basis of entire progress.
 
WHO – Margaret Chan
Education and health go hand in hand. The evidence demonstrating link is incontrovertible. Education of girls is vital. Educating girls will see that they have less babies and have them later in life. Educated girls make better mothers. Education lifts the status of women, protects their sexual health and protects them from sexual violence. Education is powerful way to break status of poverty – education breaks cycle of poverty. The linkage between health and education are mutually reinforcing sisterhood which go hand in hand and lift people out of poverty – gives opportunity to develop full human potential.

Save the Children – CEO
Health – 3 lessons. MDGs 4 and 5 are behind. Poorest and most vulnerable have poor access to health services. Health is too m=fragmented and lives of women and girls is put at risk
5 recommendations –
1. prioritise equity requires access to services and overcoming barriers
2. impacts re heath should be at community level
3. education needs to remove barriers so all children can fully participate
4. more investment in MDG synergies
5. look at impact of MDG 8 on all MDGs – financing gap is 34 billion for health
 
Gambia – M for National Planning
Education is vital ingredient for human development. The positive effect of education impacts on fertility, mortality and morbidity. Evidence points to development of nation can be retarded by lack of access to health and education. My government prioritises these sectors since 1994. As Africans, our greatest enemy is ignorance. To save Gambia we have invested significant portion of budget to health and education. This has impacted by increasing access to services for people. We aim to improve access to RH. Maternal mortality has reduced from 730 to 550 per 1000 by 2010. CPR and has increased from 6.7 in 1990 and 13.4 in 2001 to 97.8% in 2006 (???). We have made significant gains in HIV reductions though providing ARTs remains a daunting challenge.
 
Tanzania – Prime Minister
We are here to change and share experiences to try and implement the MDGs. On primary education we had 51.7% in 2000. Now it is 94.5% enrolment. Re Maternal Health – until 2005 there was no real progress. 529 per 100,000 in 1996. In 2009/10, MMR reached 454 per 100,000 live births- we have made progress but not enough. On HIV and AIDS, HIV prevalence is significantly high among women. We must keep up momentum etc if we are to achieve the MDGs.
 
Eritrea – MOFA
We are committed to achieve MDGs and have invested 100s of millions of dollars – especially on trying to make hunger history. Health MDGs. 75 % has access to healthcare. Immunization of DTP and Hepatitis is at 9%. 34.1% of all pregnant women have access to skilled birth attendants
 
Israel – Deputy MOFA
Our approach to development reflects our commitment to human capital and capacity building. We support training of teachers in Africa with UNESCO. We also see education as a means of building bridges with neighbours. We work to improve maternal health – we will sign a trilateral partnership with and Germany on development cooperation.
 
UNICEF
We helped organize 1st world summit of health and education which go hand in hand. 69 million have no access to education. We need to integrate education and health. We know that. But we know now that if we shift focus to the most disadvantaged then it has huge impact. Education is a powerful weapon against disease and should be used to its fullest to help children thrive.

Kenya – MoEd
Kenya has made significant progress in health and education and has achieved universal access to primary education. We have newly passed a constitution where there is complete access to education for all. We have made major progress since 2005 but need to achieve more to reach the MDGs. We have reduced child mortality, improved MH and reduced the spread of HIV. Currently MM remains high (488 per 100,000 live births) – 7,700 women die every year due to lack of adequate ANC – though 91% attend ANC. We now offer ARV drugs and increased voluntary testing services in public facilities etc. Nevertheless we have huge challenges to provide quality and affordable healthcare for all Kenyans. We are improving access to health by providing model health centres that have child and maternal health wards.
 
Russia – MOFA
It is hard not to agree that health is not only a prerequisite for a person’s quality of life, but for eradicating discrimination, etc. We have allocated $20 billion in last 5 years to health. We continue to take part in ODA to combat HIV, TB, Malaria and the communicable diseases. We get significant technical assistance to CIS countries. We will actively promote the values of a healthy life style – the goal of the first NCD conference in Moscow next year. We have contributed over last XX years $430 million. UNSG we support – and will hold a series of scientific educational conferences to disseminate best practice on reducing maternal mortality.
 
Saudi – His Majesty
Women, gender equality, sustainable development addressed in conferences etc

UNESCO
We support the SG Global Strategy that emphasises close link between health and education – education saves lives. Evidence shows that children of parents who have education are more likely to save lives. When parents have post primary education the situation is better, though achieving this is difficult. Educated women are likely to give birth using a skilled health worker, seek ANC and approach health services and know more about available services. Education is a powerful means to prevent spread of preventable diseases and promote healthy lives, behaviour etc that has progressive impact on lives of women. Adolescent girls are key target. They need access to basic health services
 
Ghana
Our results are mixed. Our 2008 DHS report has fallen from 111 in 2003 to 80- per 1000 live births in 2008. A further reduction of 50 % is required to reach target. The progress in reducing MM is further off track. We estimated there was 450 deaths per 1000 live births in 2007. MDG target is 185 – we are a long way off. HIV AIDS has stabilised largely though we need more resources. We need to achieve Abuja target of 15% so as to help achieve family planning accessible for all, all maternal health services are free, to scale up planning and services. We need to include number of midwives. We are way out of MNDG 5 but we believe with strong commitment we will be able to achieve it.
 
Bulgaria – Ministry of FA
If challenges related to access are not met, millions will be deprived of opportunity to have decent lifestyle. Significant amount of our ODA goes to education as we believe that investment in human capital can achieve long term progress on the MDGs. Re the Youth Conference. To improve adolescent SRH, the YP Bulgaria was established. Regional Peer education training connects more than 50-00 people from 42 countries. – so speedy progress is possible. We cannot achieve MDGs without progress on education and health.
 
UNFPA – Thoraya Obaid
5 points
1. Education and health are interlinked but when girls are educated they also contribute to productivity and economic growth
2. Health of women is not just focus of ministry of health. National plans need to prioritise integrated package of services.
3. Partners need to work together to support countries – ie H4+ we work to focus on those countries with high newborn and maternal deaths.
4. We talk re investments so need to see budget lines etc
5. We need more than health, the competing demands – it is a cultural issue around value of women and girls. If we value women then we need to work with value systems to improve and promote health of women and children.
 
Oman – MOFA
Oman calls on international community to address other health issues that directly affect the MDGs such as NCDs. We continue to offer free healthcare to our citizens and work closely with CS and UN agencies to achieve MDGs – and believe in communication, collaboration and …….
 
Arab League
In Libya children participate in schools at 100 per cent. We have closed health gap between rural and urban areas. Reducing maternal mortality we have achieved a lot and improved healthcare through building hospitals and providing free medication.
 
Norway
The most dangerous day for a woman is the day she gives birth and the day she is born. Would it be the same if men gave birth? We need more attention and focus on providing sex education, safe abortion services etc. Women must be put in a position where they have power to decide over their own body. When women are valued the society at large will protect their rights. Gender equality is good for health. Meeting the MDGs means also focussing on gender equality too
 
World Bank
The MDGs are the World Bank’s goals. We want a world free of poverty. We need to provide basic essential medicines, and create meaningful employment opportunities. I am pleased to highlight Zoëllick’s announcement earlier today that the Bank is pledging new investments to help poor countries close gap by 2015. We will focus on access agenda and address these goals and targets and focus on 35 countries in Africa and Asia.

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