In Adolescents, Children and Women’s Health
Ensuring Access and Equity
The Spouses of the CARICOM Leaders Action Network (SCLAN) in collaboration with Gilead Sciences, the United Nations Foundation and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) hosted a side event entitled “Ensuring Access and Equity in Adolescents, Children and Women’s Health” during the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). This was a follow-up session from the 73rd UNGA Session held in 2018.
The conference facilitated dialogue on strategically advancing SCLAN’s mission of a Caribbean free from gender-based violence, teenage pregnancy, cervical cancer, non-communicable diseases, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria with a particular focus on mental health based on long term goals set forth by the global community including UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Every Woman, Every Child Global Movement and the Global Strategy for Women’s Children’s and Adolescents’ Health (2016-2030).
During the panel discussions, Chair of the Network and Special Envoy for Women and Children, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow emphasized that many of the challenges faced can be addressed with “simple, affordable interventions”. She stressed the importance of multi-sectoral collaborations and the role First Ladies can play “to strengthen the political will, mobilize resources and implement policies and programs that make a difference”.
SCLAN members are already implementing strategies to close the knowledge and healthcare access gaps for vulnerable communities in their countries. In Belize, a project will expand access to HIV prevention and treatment for teens and young adults in Stann Creek, a district with one of the country’s highest rates of new HIV infections. In Guyana, SCLAN Vice Chair, Sandra Granger and the Anira Foundation will work on education and empowerment efforts targeting the three regions with the highest rates of adolescent pregnancy.
The conference was attended by First Ladies as well as other eminent guests who support innovative initiatives to ensure access and equity in adolescents, children and women’s health at the country and global levels. Other participants included multilateral institutions, UN agencies, the private sector, and civil society organizations.
SCLAN Meets in New York with Gilead Sciences and UNFPA.