WHO calls for immediate action amid 'exponential increase' in coronavirus cases
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ISLAMABAD, Sep 21 (APP): The World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Monday signed a new collaborative framework which will accelerate joint public health efforts that put the most marginalized and vulnerable populations first.

New partnership calls for key actions in universal health coverage, mental health, emergencies and nutrition,said a press release issued here.

The new Strategic Collaboration Framework builds on a robust 70-year collaboration between the two organizations, and prioritizes four strategic areas for immediate attention and action at all levels of the organizations.

Universal health coverage, through a primary health care and health systems approach; mental health and psychosocial well-being and development; public health emergencies; and maternal and child nutrition.

Additionally, the two organizations signed a new Joint Programme on Mental
Health and Psychosocial Well-being and Development of Children and
Adolescents.

This 10-year collaborative effort will promote mental health and
psychosocial well-being and development, increase access to care for mental
health conditions, and reduce suffering and enhance quality of life among
children and adolescents, and their caregivers.

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“The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed huge gaps in accessing health, wellbeing
and nutrition services among children and vulnerable populations,” said
Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director.

“There has never been a more urgent need to work together. This new framework will help us strengthen health and food systems, and invest in mental health and psychosocial
support in every country in the world.”

For more than 70 years, WHO and UNICEF have worked together worldwide
to ensure children survive and thrive, and benefit from a safe and clean
environment.

The two organizations collaborated to provide high-impact
health, immunization, nutrition, HIV and early child development
interventions, as well as safe water and sanitation services in every region of
the world, including in fragile and conflict settings.

“At the heart of our work with UNICEF is seeing that every child not only
survives but ultimately thrives and transforms their communities and future
generations,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO DirectorGeneral.

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“With great appreciation and respect for our unique and complementary roles, we stand together in our commitment to achieve health for all.

As this pandemic demonstrates, no-one is safe until everyone is safe.”
Today, WHO and UNICEF continue to work together to stop the COVID-19
pandemic and ensure that every woman and every child have access to the
essential health services they need, including immunizations and health
check-ups.

The two organizations are also working together to support countries to
introduce and deliver COVID-19 vaccines under the vaccines pillar of the
“Access to COVID-19 Tools – Accelerator” (ACT-A) initiative, along with Gavi,
CEPI and global immunization partners.

Additionally, the organizations are strengthening health systems through
primary health care, as agreed in the Declaration of Astana, and the UN
High-level declaration on UHC, in order to accelerate achievement of
universal health coverage and Sustainable Development Goal 3 targets by
2030.