Nepal was presented with the 2012 Resolve Award yesterday by the Global Leaders Council for Reproductive Health in recognition of its important achievements in health, in particular maternal and neonatal health.
Ambassador/Permanent Representative of Nepal to the United Nations Office and Other International Organizations in Geneva and the Leader of the Nepalese delegation to the 65th World Health Assembly, Shanker D. Bairagi, received the Award on behalf of the Government of Nepal.
In his acceptance speech, Ambassador Bairagi highlighted Nepal's innovative programmes and policy efforts aimed at improving maternal and neonatal health, including the Safe Delivery Incentive Programme (SDIP) and the "Aama Surkakshya program". He stated that Nepal has accepted the universal recognition of "Health: people's basic right" and has been making efforts to increase the access of the people to health services with appropriate policy, legal and institutional reforms in the health sector together with increased resource allocation. He added that the Government's innovative programmes have substantially benefitted poor and marginalized groups.
He also highlighted that the abolition in 2009 of all user fees for delivery care in public health facilities helped expand safe delivery care nationwide and contribute to the realization of the fundamental right to reproductive health as enshrined in the Interim Constitution.
Stating that Nepal stands today at a critical juncture of political and socio-economic transformation, the Ambassador called on the development partners to continue and scale up support in these critical times to enable Nepal to achieve vital health related goals.
During the interactive session that followed, the Permanent Representative underlined the constitutional guarantee of the right to reproductive health of women has helped to improve maternal health in Nepal.
The Award Ceremony was hosted by the Ambassador/Permanent Representative of the United States, Betty E. King and was attended and addressed by ministers from various countries and senior officials of the World Health Organization. Among other awardees were Ethiopia, Malawi, Rwanda and Yemen.
Launched in September 2010 at the advent of the United National Millennium Development Goals Summit, the Global Leaders Council is a Group of various sitting and former heads of State, policy makers and leaders coming together to advance the agenda of reproductive health around the world. nepalnews.com