The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the fragility of many health systems around the globe as many countries have been forced to divert already scarce resources – including midwives and other skilled birth attendants – away from basic services delivery towards the COVID response. This has exacerbated already existing gaps in reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health (RMNCAH) across many low- and middle-income countries. In addition, many expectant mothers may skip a prenatal visit or choose to deliver at home – where complications can quickly become dangerous – for fear of infection in a hospital or clinic.
To coincide with the 75th session of the U.N. General Assembly, Devex and MSD for Mothers hosted a high-level virtual discussion to highlight the crucial link between Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and maternal health, as well as the urgent need to safeguard the health of mothers and newborns in the COVID-19 era.
A panel of subject matter experts and UHC champions dive deeper into the role of the private sector in advancing UHC from an RMNCAH perspective. Marking the one-year anniversary of the U.N. High-Level Meeting on UHC, the event takes stock of the commitments made by the private sector and what we can learn from efforts so far. By analyzing already existing commitments and investments, the conversation explored how these commitments are being integrated into donors’ strategic thinking around UHC implementation, and efforts around RMNCAH more specifically.
What health system gaps in RMNCAH have been exposed by COVID-19? And how can the private sector help bridge this gap?
The event builds on the virtual roundtable “Maternity Matters: Supporting private health providers to strengthen health systems” in order to advance conversations with key donors to help shed a light on already existing efforts, results, and challenges.