The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda places the protection of human rights, including in the context of health and reproductive care, as central to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We believe that there is an inextricable link between preventable maternal mortality and morbidity and human rights denials, including discrimination against women, inaccessible or inappropriate health services, information and education, and challenges in the areas of nutrition, water and sanitation, and infrastructure.
We take note of the report of OHCHR presented in September 2016 on maternal mortality and morbidity and human rights (A/HRC/33/24), which highlighted SDG implementation areas to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity utilizing a human rights based approach. We believe that recognition of a holistic understanding of sexual and reproductive health as well as socio-economic conditions is required to tackle the issue of maternal mortality and morbidity.
Right to health is a fundamental right without which citizens and women in particular cannot enjoy economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development. Therefore, SDG 3 on Health “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages” is of critical significance for Pakistan. In this context,
- Pakistan has launched a landmark health initiative – The Prime Minister’s National Health Insurance Program with the objective to provide universal health coverage through a cashless health insurance scheme to those living below the poverty line. It is encouraging that 100 million citizens would be covered under this scheme.
- Our Lady Health Worker Program is well utilized and being expanded to deliver basic health services directly to communities to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, and eventually universal health coverage. These Lady Health Workers are playing an important role in reducing maternal mortality and morbidity.
I thank you.