Promoting multisectoral collaboration on child and adolescent health in Azerbaijan

With technical support from WHO/Europe, the Ministry of Health organized a workshop in November that brought together officials from the Ministry, the State Committee on Women, Family and Children’s Affairs, representatives of other ministries (education, youth and sport, labour and social protection), and national programmes and institutions, major partners (WHO, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the World Bank and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)) and local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) involved in maternal, child and adolescent health.

The workshop emphasized the need for a comprehensive strategy on child and adolescent health in Azerbaijan, possibly to be included in a broader strategy/programme on maternal, neonatal and child health. It also promoted a shared view of the main priorities and challenges in the development of such a strategy in Azerbaijan among all relevant government sectors, international agencies and NGOs. The workshop introduced tools to guide the Ministry of Health and partners in the development, implementation and monitoring of the CAH strategy. The workshop participants agreed that a comprehensive, multisectoral strategy and action plan would be developed and incorporated in long-term plans for health-sector development and plans on macroeconomic factors and poverty reduction.

Background

Achieving Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5 (to reduce infant and maternal mortality) has been recognized as one of the key health priorities in the country (HIT 2010). Legislation was adopted to improve the situation. The Ministry of Health, with the technical support of the National Public Health and Reforms Centre, made an audit of the current policies related to child and adolescent health and possibilities for their future development using WHO tools for the European strategy on child and adolescent health.