Universal access to reproductive health. Accelerated actions to enhance progress on Millennium Development Goal 5 through advancing Target 5B.
The World Health Organization (WHO) Department of Reproductive Health and Research convened a technical consultation involving stakeholders from countries, regions and partner agencies to review strategies applied within countries for advancing universal access to sexual and reproductive health with a view to identifying strategic approaches to accelerate progress in achieving universal access. Case-studies from seven countries (Brazil, Cambodia, India, Morocco, United Republic of Tanzania, Uzbekistan and Zambia) illustrating application of a variety of strategies to improve access to sexual and reproductive health, lessons learnt during implementation and results achieved, allows identification of a range of actions for accelerated progress in universal access. In order to achieve MDG 5 a holistic approach to sexual and reproductive health is necessary, such that programmes and initiatives will need to expand beyond focusing only on maternal health and address also family planning, sexual health and prevention of unsafe abortion. Programmes should prioritize areas of engagement based upon country and regional needs while establishing practical ways to ensure equity through integration of gender and human rights. The strategic actions in countries outlined here will help accelerate progress towards attainment of MDG Target 5B within the wider context of implementation of the WHO Global reproductive health strategy. (Excerpt)