The WRA at the UN General Assembly in New York: Monitoring Progress and Campaigning on Health Workers
Writing this blog has allowed me some time to reflect on why the UN General Assembly is an important event for the White Ribbon Alliance (WRA). As many of you may know over the past 12 months, governments, donors, United Nations and multilateral organizations, NGOs and the business community have made commitments- including financial commitments of over $40 billion - to improve the health of women and children through the Every Woman Every Child Initiative.
This is an impressive achievement and in some ways it could be tempting to say that our work is done, but in many ways our work has become even more important - keeping up the momentum, ensuring maternal health remains a priority, holding governments to account for promises and that the lives of women and children are saved. See our September Action of the Month for details to how to get involved in this work.
So really that’s what this coming week is about, looking at how commitments are translating in to improvements on the ground, demonstrating how grassroots advocacy is driving change and examining how new innovations can speed up progress. For the WRA and many of our partners it has also been about campaigning for 3.5 Million more health workers (including 1 million community health workers and 350,000 midwives) better trained, better supported with the aim of garnering support from world leaders and many other powerful people who will be in New York.
We are delighted to be joined in New York by 5 amazing representatives from our national alliances a mixture of charismatic spokespeople Fayyaz Ahmad from Pakistan, Dr. Jamela Saleh Alraiby from Yemen and Angela Nguku from Kenya and frontline health workers working with women and children every day Mugara Joseph Mahungururo from Tanzania and Dr. Farhana Dewan from Bangladesh . I won’t go in to more details on their personal achievements as you’ll be hearing a lot more from them as they share their reflections on activities through the week including tweets using the twitter hash tag #WRAVoices.
Fayyaz, Jamela, Angela, Mugara and Farhana will be representing the WRA all week at various events through the week, most of which have a specific focus on health workers. These include
- The WRA Wake Up Breakfast and the WIE Symposium on Monday
- ‘’Maternal Health in Crisis: Health workers on the Frontline’’ hosted by Family Care International and Merck on Tuesday
- A “Voices from the Frontline’’ panel at the digital media lounge on Wednesday, and;
- Then Mugara will travel to Washington DC to represent the WRA at an on capitol hill looking at the best way to improve global health.