8814869754_2e801cefdd_zAhead of the start of the 67th Word Health Assembly in Geneva today, DSW’s Cecile Vernant writes at Devex on the key issues to watch out for. This article was originally published on Devex.com, and can be accessed here.

This week the World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva brings with it a packed agenda and a whole host of questions around some key issues for global health policy-makers. Coming as it does in the midst of ongoing dates on the make-up of the post-2015 framework, this WHA will provide important signposts as to the likely focus and priorities ahead of the UN General Assembly in New York in September. A key focus of these discussions is likely to be centred on maternal and child health, especially given the lack of progress made on the health MDGs. As we head towards this week of discussion and debate, I would like to highlight a number of key issues to watch out for.

RMNCH high on the political agenda

Of all the issues up for discussion during the WHA, reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health looks set to be among the top priorities. Globally, out of nearly three million babies that die in the first month of life, 2.6 million of these are stillborn (die in the last three months of pregnancy or during childbirth) and approximately 287,000 women die every year due to complications during pregnancy and childbirth. The WHA will vote this week on a resolution to adopt the WHO’s new Every Newborn Action Plan (ENAP). ENAP has been developed in the framework of the WHO’s Every Mother, Every Child initiative, and is a roadmap seeking to prevent these deaths, seeking to set out a clear vision to improve maternal and newborn health by 2035 through cost-effective investments in care at birth, improving health systems and harnessing the potential of R&D investment to deliver new, effective and accessible medical interventions for pregnant women and newborns.


For the full article, please head to Devex’s website here!


Cécile Vernant is head of EU advocacy for Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevoelkerung. Responsible for managing DSW’s advocacy team in Brussels, she focuses on global health, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and global health. Prior to joining DSW, Vernant worked in EU public affairs as well as corporate marketing and crisis communication in her native France and the United States.


You can find out more information on DSW’s work on global health here.