|DFID's health strategy|
DFID's health strategyThe Lancet 2007; 370: 653
Letter to the Editor by Adrienne Germain, President, International Women's Health Coalition, re: DFID's Health Strategy. Available in PDF.
We join you in congratulating the UK government's Department for International Development (DFID) for its new health strategy1 and recommend that readers peruse DFID's second progress report, Reducing maternal deaths: evidence and action.2 The report's many examples show how to approach health-system strengthening by promoting reproductive health. For example, DFID has committed £252 million to reducing geographic and social disparities in access to reproductive and child health services in India by building new health facilities and expanding core medical training, not just by funding vertical family planning and child health services. This comprehensive approach has increased the proportion of institutional deliveries to 19% in one Indian state over a 7-year period, and laid a strong foundation for progress towards reducing 136 000 maternal deaths annually.2 The benefits for women, families, and communities will be immeasurable.
We, like you, urge the UK government to use such evidence to hold other large development agencies, in particular the World Bank and WHO, accountable for their commitments to reproductive health.