SANTIAGO – The president of Chile inaugurated on Monday the high level “Every Woman, Every Child” (EWEC) meeting, whose purpose is to discuss a new strategy for protecting the health of women, children and adolescents in the region from now until 2030.
In a speech at La Moneda Palace, President Michelle Bachelet said, “We seek to mobilize and put all the global, regional and local experts to work... in order to achieve the goals suggested by the world strategy for the health of women, children and adolescents so they can survive, prosper and be transformed,” a reference to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Bachelet noted that “to survive” means that no woman, child or teen must die of “preventable” causes.
“To prosper” means “creating an environment where all can develop their full potential,” with resources provided to make that possible from the first years of infancy up adolescence.
“To be transformed” means making sure that women, children and teens “have the full exercise of their rights and achieve the highest possible degree of health and well-being,” the Chilean president said.
She said that equity should be the basis for developing policies that “rid us of unjust social differences, which stop our societies from progressing as fast as we would like them to,” she said.
Along that line, one of the chief challenges in countries of Latin America and the Caribbean is overcoming the inequalities that harm people in many ways including their health.
“It’s not enough to improve access to healthcare services – we need more professionals, more understanding of the cultural side of it, more contact with remote areas, and the integration of health policies with education, with healthcare facilities, with measures for the growth of our nations,” Bachelet said.
Attending the meeting that will continue in Santiago until Tuesday are the health ministers of six nations and directors of seven international organizations.