Mongolia to share experiences on reflecting the Leaving No One Behind in health policy and planning at WHA

A World Health Assembly side event on “Leaving no one behind in the Sustainable Development Goals: Equity, gender and human rights policy to practice” is scheduled to take place later today with participation of Mongolia’s Minister of Health, Dr Tsogtsetseg Ayush, and the Minister of Health of Chile, Ms Carmen Castillo Taucher. Mongolia, along with Norway, Chile, Indonesia, Nepal, Mozambique, Canada, Spain and other Member States have worked with WHO to promote increased focus on equity, gender and rights in health policies, strategies, programmes and information systems.

The side-event aims to promote country-to-country exchange in creating enabling environments through reflecting and applying the "leave no one behind" approach in health sector policy and planning.

Hence Dr A. Tsogtsetseg will make a presentation on how the “leaving no one behind” approach was reflected in the long term State Policy on Health (SPH) 2017-2026 adopted by the Mongolian Government in January 2017 and consequently incorporated in the subnational health policy implementation plans with WHO support.

WHO has initiated the Leaving No One Behind practical hands-on workshops introducing the concept to the health sector managers in Mongolia in September and November last year, the time when subnational departments of health started drafting their five-year health policy implementation plans. Specialists from all three levels of WHO – headquarters, the Regional Office for the Western Pacific and the country office – led the training, which was geared to help local governments and departments of health reflect the Leaving No One Behind principle in their health strategies or subplans, most of which are to be adopted by mid-2017. The concept was immediately taken aboard by all levels of health management in the country.

The Minister of Health, Dr Tsogtsetseg Ayush, notes that the trainings proved to be very timely as practical guidance to the Ministry of Health in drafting the long-term State Policy on Health and local governments in developing their five-year midterm subplans on implementation of the policy.

“The practical sessions helped us to draw our actual local health sector plans, leading us to formulate additional policies and actions to reach out to those who are left behind,” said Dr Ch. Bayarjargal, the former Director of Umnugobi aimag’s Department of Health.

Following the adoption of the SPH that created a framework for mainstreaming the Leaving No One Behind principle in health-care provision, the WHO county office offered an additional series of subnational workshops to support inclusion of a strong focus on the Leaving No One Behind principle in 2017–2021 subplans on SPH implementation. “WHO complements the Government of Mongolia and the Ministry of Health for their commitment and leadership in incorporating the Leaving No One Behind principle in the State Policy on Health and devoting support to local governments in adopting the principle in the province and district subplans for SPH implementation. WHO also commends the commitment of local governments that have shown full support to their departments of health in applying the Leaving No One Behind principle in developing their five-year subplans on SPH implementation and in committing local funds to advance universal health coverage in their respective provinces and districts,” says Dr Soe Nyunt U.

A handbook providing guidance on incorporating the Leaving No One Behind principle in the formulation of subnational health sector plans in Mongolia is to be published this summer.