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November 19, 2013

SickKids Centre for Global Child Health contributes to Global Investment Framework for Women’s and Children’s Health

Framework published in The Lancet today demonstrates how increased investment will secure high health, social and economic returns.

A new Global Investment Framework published today by The Lancet, on behalf of the Study Group for the Global Investment Framework for Women’s and Children’s Health outlines how increasing investment in women’s and children’s health will secure high health, social and economic returns.

This targeted framework is based upon the costing of health systems strengthening, and six investment packages for: maternal and newborn health, child health, immunization, family planning, HIV/Aids and malaria; with nutrition across the life course as a cross-cutting theme.  

Although substantial reductions in maternal and child deaths have been achieved worldwide in the last two decades, these still fall short of the rates of reduction needed by 2015 to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5.

The Global Investment Framework presents the case for accelerated and targeted regional and country-level investment and reaffirms the importance of addressing maternal and child health at the global level over the next two decades.

Increasing health expenditure by just $5 per capita per year up to 2025 in 74 countries, with 95 per cent of the global maternal and child mortality burden, could yield up to nine times that value in economic and social benefits; including through greater gross domestic product (GDP) growth through increased productivity, higher labour participation rates and increased savings. This represents a cost-effective and beneficial investment.

The scale-up of essential health sector interventions can prevent more than 147 million child deaths, five  million maternal deaths, and 32 million stillbirths.

Dr. Zulfiqar Bhutta, Robert Harding Chair and Co-Director of the Centre for Global Child Health at SickKids and a lead author of the framework says a post-2015 agenda should aim to both sustain current successes and to bring these benefits to all women and children - particularly those most vulnerable.

The Government of Canada, through the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) is playing a leading role in the international community through the Muskoka Initiative and the maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) initiative, committing $2.85 billion from 2010-2015 towards strengthening health systems, reducing the burden of diseases that are killing mothers and children and improving nutrition.

“The Study Group for the Global Investment Framework for Women’s and Children’s Health commends the continuing focus on maternal and child health and nutrition. We urge Canada and the rest of the international community to optimize investments in women’s and children’s health through increasing targeted health expenditure in countries with the highest burdens and the greatest potential to benefit,” said Dr. Bhutta, “The Global Investment Framework launched today demonstrates how increased targeted investment could not only prevent needless deaths of millions of women and children, but could also secure significant social and economic returns over time.

The SickKids Centre for Global Child Health joins approximately 17 leading global institutions as a member of the Global Investment Framework for Women’s and Children’s Health.

A lead author of the Global Investment Framework for Women’s and Children’s Health is Dr. Zulfiqar Bhutta, Robert Harding Chair and Co-Director of the Centre for Global Child Health at SickKids.

Read more about the Global Investment Framework for Women’s and Children’s Health http://www.who.int/maternal_child_adolescent/news_events/news/2013/global-investment-framework/en/index.html

View The Lancet Series on Maternal and Child Nutrition Series (co-authored by Dr. Zulfiqar Bhutta)

View The Lancet Series on Childhood Diarrhoea and Pneumonia (co-authored by Dr. Zulfiqar Bhutta)