Dar es Salaam, 6-9 November 2016: Health outcomes are not equal for people throughout the world, both across and within countries. The underlying reasons are complex but many of these disparities are avoidable and unacceptable. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) mark an unprecedented commitment to “leaving no one behind” (LNB) and the articulation of the importance of addressing vulnerabilities and discrimination on a global scale.
SDGs platform provides opportunities for health sector to align with other sectors policies and actions to address social determinants of health, gender, equity and human rights as the primary prevention and protection of population health. The two SDG goals – Goal 5 on gender equality and Goal 10 on reducing inequalities are clear links to social determinants of health and gender, equity and human rights works of the WHO.
Equity, social determinants and gender equality and rights play a pivotal role in improving health outcomes for women, children and adolescents, particularly, among the disadvantaged and marginalized. Therefore, as countries in the Africa Region develop and implement plans to implement the renewed Global Strategy for Women Children and Adolescents’ Health, with special focus on universal access, it is important to strengthen their capacity to monitor health inequality and integrate actions on equity, gender, human rights and social determinants.
It is in this context, that WHO Regional Office for Africa has organized a Regional workshop to strengthen country capacities to promote and facilitate institutional mainstreaming of gender, equity, human rights and social determinants within national health programmes designed to improve reproductive, maternal, and newborn, child and adolescent health.
It is a meeting gathering programme managers from WHO Headquarters, Regional and Country Offices; Ministries of Health and Ministries of Gender from 6 countries: Ghana, Liberia, Malawi, Nigeria, Swaziland, and Tanzania.
During the three days, the experts will;
- Learn about the concepts, principles of, and approach to equity, social determinants, gender, and human rights, and the opportunities for engaging with international human rights monitoring bodies for action;
- Familiarize with the existing tools for identifying the subpopulations being left behind in the SDG health-related targets and integrating actions on equity, gender, human rights and social determinants;
- Learn and share country experiences on the implementation of programmes to ensure universal coverage and leaving no one behind through the lens of equity, social determinants, gender, and human rights; and
A tangible benefit to this Regional workshop is that it will increase the pool of advocates and potential facilitators who can support mainstreaming of GER and SD in WHO work in the African Region. This echoes the WHO constitutional commitment to promote the “highest attainable standard of health as one of the fundamental rights of every human being”.