Global Health Council, Inc.
GHC supported by RTI International & The Access Challenge welcomes DG’s report highlighting successes, challenges & activities in the areas of women’s, children’s & adolescents’ health to work towards UHC with specific emphasis on multisectoral actions, human rights and equity, & monitoring and accountability. Achieving UHC for women, children & adolescents necessitates mobilizing different government agencies and leaders in a coordinated way and this comprehensive approach can only be achieved with commitment to UHC. We urge the inclusion of NCD services such as access to the HPV vaccine and cervical cancer screening by integrating them into existing programs for young girls, adolescents & women. Global trends for adolescents’ NCD risk factors are alarming-with 26.5% of all 15-19-year olds being current drinkers, 90% of adult smokers initiating smoking in adolescence, and prevalence of overweight among 10-19 years being quadrupled in the last four decades. In a recently published analysis, it was estimated that from a life course perspective, implementation of a package of interventions to reduce NCD risk among adolescents worldwide would substantially reduce premature mortality, translating to $400 billion in cumulative economic benefits. We support the urgent appeal of the IAP for EWEC and urge MS to push for increased investments in adolescent health if we want to achieve UHC and the SDGs. We also laud the efforts of WHO on establishing the GAMA Advisory Group to fill data gaps and to bring together data collection efforts, by harmonizing and prioritizing indicators for adolescent health. We request MS to utilize the AA-HA guidance, advance adolescents’ meaningful participation and implement the WHO recommendations on adolescent SRHR at the country level. We urge prioritization to effective multisectoral action to address social and other determinants of health and uphold the right to highest attainable standard of health for all.