NEW YORK— Public and private health stakeholders came together at a United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) meeting aimed at advancing progress in strengthening maternal and girls' health, as well as fighting neglected tropical diseases. The event, "Philanthropy and the Global Public Health Agenda," brought leaders from various nations, the global health community, biopharmaceutical companies, the media, and NGOs to highlight the power of partnerships in advancing the global public health agenda.
The role of philanthropists and philanthropic organizations is crucial in tackling some avoidable health threats which kill millions of vulnerable people every year, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today. "Health is a foundation for prosperity, stability and poverty reduction," Mr. Ban said.
Every year more than half a million women die from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth, almost all in developing countries, he told the over 400 participants, including leaders from the business and philanthropic community, and companies such as IKEA, Merrill Lynch and Toyota.
"We must put an end to these senseless deaths," Mr. Ban insisted, adding that "women are engines of development and drivers of improved health."
He called for the UN family and national governments to coordinate their efforts, drawing from the expertise of foundations, research centers and academia, as well the innovative spirit of the private sector and the dynamism of civil society.
Following the meeting, ECOSOC President H.E. Sylvie Lucas hosted an evening reception co-sponsored by CARE and the Global Health Progress initiative. The meeting and reception were designed to foster discussions on strengthening existing partnerships and creating new strategies for progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Special issue and discussion tables were featured at the reception, giving attendees the opportunity to learn more about global public health topics, including access to medicines, electronic and mobile health, ending fistula, HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, the Millennium Villages and Millennium Promise, maternal, newborn and child health, neglected tropical disease, nutrition, public health capacity building, and vaccines.
"We need to increase collaboration and collective action across the global health community," said Cathy Woolard, CARE's Executive Vice President of Global Advocacy and External Relations. "Urgent and complex issues such as safe motherhood, a topic CARE is particularly committed to, require strong collaborations within a global coalition of public, private and NGO entities to integrate and scale up successful models."
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