Opening remarks by Dr. Soe Nyunt-U, WHO Representative

Vice Minister for Health, Dr. Amarsanaa,
Senior MOH colleagues,
Distinguished participants,
UN colleagues
Ladies and Gentleman,
It is great pleasure for me to make few remarks on behalf of my UN colleagues at this important consultative meeting on Maternal and Child Health.
Mongolia has made a steady progress over the decade in improving the health of our mothers and children. This is very well reflected by the overall decline in maternal, infant and under-five child mortality rates. If this trend continues Mongolia will be one of the countries in our region and the world to achieve the targets set for the Millennium Development Goals 4 &5.
Despite the good progress we have made so far, there still remains several challenges to be addressed especially if we are to reduce the disparity among urban and rural population as regards to maternal and child morbidity and mortality. Several aimags, especially in the Western part of the country still have maternal and child mortality three to four times higher then the national average.
Among Infant mortality, reducing neonatal mortality remains a major challenge since more then two thirds of deaths are attributed in this age group.
The current health sector reform initiative being undertaken by the Ministry of health and supported by the Prime Minister of Mongolia will further
strengthen the health systems that are need for improving the quality of care for mothers and children especially those living in rural and remote areas of Mongolia.
The World Health Organization is very supportive of the health care reform as it fits well into WHO’s global, regional and country agenda of achieving universal health coverage in terms of essential health service delivery package and health care financing options for majority of the people and especially those that are vulnerable and disadvantaged.
Maternal and Child health services reflect the effectiveness and efficiency of a country’s overall health system as measured by indicators related to human resources, health services, health information, health financing , medical products and health technology. Countries that have been successful in delivering effective maternal and child health services are also able to deliver other primary health care services well.
WHO together with our UNICEF and UNFPA partners have a joint programme on maternal and child health to support the Ministry of health and other stakeholders implement the UN Secretary Generals strategy on Women’s and Children’s health. Our aim is to identify the remaining gaps and challenges that are hindering the achievement of MDG 4&5 and help bridge those gaps by 2015. My UNFPA Colleague, Argentina Matavel will discuss this further in her presentation. This National Forum will contribute greatly towards this goal and your active participation and discussion will be of great help
Once again I thank you all and hope that this workshop will be fruitful in improving the health of our mothers and children.
Thank you