The Government of Guyana, in collaboration with the United Nations on Wednesday, December 10, 2014 launched the MDG Acceleration Framework (MAF) Action Plan at Herdmanston Lodge.
The Action Plan is developed from the application of the MAF to the Guyanese context, and will lead all interventions and discussion in the area of maternal health; it will serve to harmonize multi-sectoral responses in this field (including that of development partners) in creating the environment to more effectively leverage resources for achieving the initial outcomes. The MAF Action Plan is also placed in the context of the National Health Strategy -Health Vision 2020, which sets out the priorities for Guyana's health sector over the period 2013-2020.
UN Resident Coordinator, Ms. Khadija Musa in her remarks noted that "...the Government of Guyana is among the list of countries that have shown demonstrated leadership in this issue and worked on a MDG Accelerated Framework document aimed at highlighting both challenges and pragmatic solutions to accelerate progress on lagging MDGs, and to reduce disparities in progress to date."
In evaluating Guyana's progress towards MDGs, the Government of Guyana identified MDG 5 – improve maternal health – as the goal that needed prioritization if its associated targets are to be achieved by 2015, and thus a higher standard of maternal health care is to be established and sustained in the long run. Although there has been progress towards achievement of the goal of MDG 5, significant challenges remain. In order to mitigate or overcome these obstacles, a wide range of solutions was selected to introduce and sustain improved standards of care in the maternal health sector.
Ms. Musa highlighted the economic benefit of improving maternal health. She noted that "...improving maternal health reinforces national productivity, economic outcomes, and the achievement of other MDGs (child mortality, poverty and hunger, gender equality, and education) as the evidence gathered over the years suggest."
The aims of the MAF Action Plan are (1) to present a framework to guide the implementation of interventions for accelerating progress toward maternal health so that development partners' efforts can be both aligned to, and complement central government action; and (2) to use the MAF Action Plan as a tool for resource mobilization by the Government of Guyana, in order to fill identified financing gaps. The latter activity will occur with the support of relevant development partners.