President Goodluck Jonathan
Systemic barriers, such as overarching health system, financial impediments, and severely under-resourced regulatory agencies in low-income countries, market failures, have been identified as the bane of women and children suffering and dying in many countries.
President Goodluck Jonathan and his Norwegian counterpart, Jens Stoltenberg, both co-chairmen of the United Nations Commission on Life Saving Commodities for Women and Children, stated this in a paper they co-authored on child and maternal health citing the 2010 report of the UN Secretary-General’s Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health.
Other impediments they listed include user supply and demand challenges such as limited demand for the product by end-users and local delivery problems and incorrect prescription and use.
According to them, their commission has realised that countries around the globe need to embrace the use of contraceptives while identifying 13 neglected life-saving health commodities.
The commission pledged to save millions of lives and contribute to maternal health/child health in order to tackle rising cases of mortality, estimating that the scale up will cost less than USD 2.5 billion over five years and save over six million lives.
Both presidents revealed that the Commission has developed a detailed plan for implementing cross-cutting “commodity-specific actions and clearly stated national, regional and global activities and associated costs.”
On HIV/AIDS, the Commission said it is essential that there is “success in substantially reducing the price of antiretroviral drugs for HIV is testimony to the effect of partnerships, with 6.6 million people in developing countries receiving these drugs at the end of 2010.”
“The Commission recognises that if the needs for modern contraceptive methods were fully met in these countries, an estimated 53 million unintended pregnancies would be avoided, about 90,000 women’s lives would be saved and an estimated 590,000 newborn deaths would be averted.