President celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Alma Ata declaration

“Health for all – that was the slogan that came out of the Alma Ata Declaration,” PACE President Liliane Maury Pasquier said today, paying tribute to this major milestone which set a new agenda for human rights in global health. “40 years ago, 134 countries and 67 international organisations gathered together for this historic conference, which has inspired action and led to positive health achievements across the globe.”

“Sadly, however, the dream of ‘health for all’ is still far from being achieved. According to the WHO, approximately 830 women die every day from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. Furthermore, 844 million people lack even basic drinking water and child malnutrition causes 22 per cent of all children under five to suffer from stunted growth and 16 million children under five to be severely wasted,” she said.

“The Parliamentary Assembly has long contributed to reaching the ‘health for all’ goal, by addressing inequalities in access to health, calling on all member States to ensure access to health care and the provision of medicines to the most vulnerable, in particular children, addressing the problem of prohibitive prices for medicines, and urging greater investment in research and development for new drugs, tests and vaccines, in particular for tuberculosis. It is now time to build on this work and step up our ambitions,” she added.

“This 40th anniversary thus offers us an opportunity to revitalise the values and the vision of the Alma Ata Declaration, and I call on all parliamentarians to play a role in this process. The forthcoming Global Conference on Primary Health Care, which will take place in Astana on 25-26 October 2018, represents an excellent occasion to reinvigorate the ‘health for all’ goal. The Parliamentary Assembly will closely follow the conclusions of this conference,” she concluded.