“Let us do it together, and for all”: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon opens Shanghai Maternal and Child Health Center

News release

On 22 May 2014, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon officiated at the opening ceremony of the Shanghai Maternal and Child Health Center together with His Excellency Mr. Liu Jieyi, Permanent Representative of the People's Republic of China to the United Nations, Madam Weng Tiehui, Vice Mayor of Shanghai, Madam Cui Li, Vice Minister of the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC), and Dr Bernhard Schwartländer, WHO Representative in China.

This newly consolidated center integrates previously separate service centers for women, children and family planning. The integration brings together all relevant information and services in the one place. As well as enhancing services, the new center will also be used for staff training, and operational research.

In opening the center, the Secretary-General said: “Because of centers like this around the country, China has been able to meet the fourth Millennium Development Goal in reducing child mortality ahead of the planned time, and it is on track to meet the MDG 5 goal of improved maternal health and universal access to reproductive health services”.

On 22 May 2014, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon visited Shanghai Maternal and Child health Centre. He received a brief introduction about woman’s and child’s health of Shanghai together with Madam Cui Li, Vice Minister of the NHFPC, and Dr Bernhard Schwartländer, WHO Representative in China

Followed the center opening, the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and the NHFPC hosted a lunch event in support of the Every Woman Every Child campaign. CEOs from the private sector participated in a discussion with senior national partners about the role of multi-stakeholder partnerships in accelerating progress towards improving women and children’s health in China, and globally.

The Secretary-General emphasized that while significant progress towards improving women’s and children’s health has been made, there is still much more to do, especially in improving the well-being of the hardest to reach groups. China has an important role to play in sharing its valuable experiences and lessons learned in this area with other countries.

In 2010, the Secretary General unified world leaders to mobilize action towards saving millions of lives of women and children globally and realize the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). Since then, Every Woman Every Child has become an unprecedented global movement that mobilizes and intensifies both international and national actions by governments, multilaterals, private sector and civil society in order to address major health challenges faced by women and children around the world. These efforts are realized in the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health, which provides a roadmap on enhancing financing, strengthening policies, and improving services on the ground for the most vulnerable women and children.

Every woman every child should be counted. Dr Bernhard Schwartländer, WHO Representative in China introduced himself to a child at Shanghai Maternal and Child health Centre

China has been making substantial progress in improving health of women and children: China met its MDG target for reducing the Under 5 Mortality Rate in 2009, and is currently on track to meet its MDG 5 target for reducing maternal mortality. By virtue of this success, China has been selected as one of 10 ‘high-performing’ countries to conduct a ‘success study’ on its achievements in MDGs 4 and 5a. The study is being led by the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH) and the World Health Organization (WHO). See our separate web story on this project.

During the discussions in Shanghai, NHFPC Vice-Minister Madame Cui Li spoke about the importance of 2014 being the Year for Women and Children’s health in China. She said there is still much to do to continue China’s strong progress in these areas.

The Secretary-General said: “There is a well-known Chinese proverb, ‘Yi Nuo Qian Jin’, which means ‘a promise is a promise’. Let us turn that into ‘Yi Nuo Qian Xin’ – one promise – to do everything we can to improve women and children’s health, and ‘a thousand hearts’: let us do it together, and for all.”