22 September 2020 | News
New partnership calls for key actions in universal health coverage, mental health, emergencies
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The World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF have signed a new collaborative framework which will accelerate joint public health efforts that put the most marginalized and vulnerable populations first.
The new Strategic Collaboration Framework builds on a robust 70-year collaboration between the two organizations, and prioritizes four strategic areas for immediate attention and action at all levels of the organizations: universal health coverage, through a primary health care and health systems approach; mental health and psychosocial wellbeing and development; public health emergencies.
Additionally, the two organizations signed a new Joint Programme on Mental Health and Psychosocial Well-being and Development of Children and Adolescents. This 10-year collaborative effort will promote mental health and psychosocial well-being and development, increase access to care for mental health conditions, reduce suffering and enhance quality of life among children and adolescents, and their caregivers
Both organizations are particularly concerned about the urgent need to better tackle issues affecting adolescents. Depression is is one of the leading causes of illness and disability among adolescents, and suicide is the second leading cause of death in adolescents.
The two organizations are also working together to support countries to introduce and deliver COVID-19 vaccines under the vaccines pillar of the “Access to COVID-19 Tools – Accelerator” (ACT-A) initiative, along with Gavi, CEPI and global immunization partners.