A friendly health system is a human right

05 March 2018
A friendly health system
UNICEF/ALB/2018/Olsi Beci

Tirana, 5 March,2018- The importance of health systems strengthening (HSS) to deliver quality and equitable services to young children brought together in a three-day (5-7March, 2018) sub-regional workshop government officials, health professionals, UNICEF staff, from Albania, Bosnia and Hercegovina, FYR of Macedonia, Kosovo (UNSCR 1244), Montenegro, Romania, and Serbia.

The event is organized by the UNICEF Regional Office in Geneva in collaboration with UNICEF Office in Tirana and supported by UNICEF Office in New York. 

UNICEF is reminding the government representatives, in Albania that they have a great opportunity to save children’s lives by committing to actions that lead to Health System Strengthening to achieve Universal Health Coverage and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals.

Children in ECAR (Europe and Central Asia) including the Balkans, are less likely to die before their fifth birthday than they were twenty years ago, but inequalities remain. There are widening gaps in child mortality between and within countries and across population groups. For some groups, child mortality is two to three times higher than the average and access to health services is extremely poor.

To reduce child rights violations and equity gaps, changes in systems should be targeted at various levels, national, regional, local to ensure that they are fully operational and support translation of policies into action towards the sustainable and progressive realization of children’s rights.

UNICEF Strategic Plan 2018 – 2021 and the UNICEF Health Strategy, will be explored during the workshop; consensus will be reached on how countries, in collaboration with UNICEF, can strengthen their health systems.

UNICEF expects that HSS Approach can be used to inform national planning processes and integrate with global HSS initiatives, develop specific road maps and improve district health service delivery to be more effective and accountable.

David Hipgrave, Chief of HSS, UNICEF, New York emphasized the need to provide UNICEF partners and staff with a better understanding of the UNICEF Health System Strengthening concept and approach, including its practical application within specific country contexts, to improving equitable results for children.

The Ministry of Health and Social Protection of Albania commended this initiative and acknowledged the importance of strengthening health systems to make better changes and support children to reach their full potential.

Media contacts

Anila Miria
Communication Officer
Tel: +35569 20 29 021
Tel: +35569 20 24 185
Mariana Bukli
Health and Nutrition Specialist


UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.

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