16/03/2021: CSW65 Side Event on “Women’s and Children’s Health and Well-Being: Implementing UHC and the Amelioration of NCDs in the Context of COVID-19”

16/03/2021: CSW65 Side Event on “Women’s and Children’s Health and Well-Being: Implementing UHC and the Amelioration of NCDs in the Context of COVID-19”

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Remarks by

H.E. Mr. Supark Prongthura,
Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of Thailand
at the CSW65 Side Event on

“Women’s and Children’s Health and Well-Being: Implementing UHC and
the Amelioration of NCDs in the Context of COVID-19”

Tuesday 16 March 2021, 15.00-16.15 hrs., Zoom

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H.E. Mr. Courtenay Rattray, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Jamaica,

Excellencies,

Distinguished delegates,

Ladies and gentlemen,

 

First and foremost, I would like to express our appreciation to the Permanent Mission of Jamaica, the International Council of Women, the World Health Organization and other important partners for their continued commitment on this very important issue, as we had to postpone this event from last year.

Even while we are working hard to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, non-communicable diseases remain a challenge that we cannot ignore. Despite being preventable, NCDs are still a leading cause of death, accounting for over 70% of deaths globally, while disproportionately impacting low- and middle-income countries. Women and children are now put in a more difficult position due to the lack of access to basic health services as a result of the lockdown and strained health systems due to the COVID pandemic. With their basic needs not met, it would be difficult for them to participate effectively in decision-making, and we would be far-off from achieving gender equality.

Please allow me to share a few of Thailand’s reflections on this matter.

First, we must ensure the access and continuity of basic health services in relation to NCDs even in times of the pandemic, including necessary mental health services. Women and children have faced an array of social and economic consequences due to COVID such as the disruption in education and loss of jobs while their unpaid care burden has increased. Health is one key area that has been affected. And we therefore call on all countries and partners to place their efforts in maintaining services for women and children’s specific health needs and keep them accessible during the pandemic.

Second, we must strengthen our efforts to address NCDs as part of universal health coverage, as being called for in the Political Declaration of the High-level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage. Investing in health is
a political choice and is possible for developing countries, as we have seen in many successful cases. Building long-term resilience and agile health systems with universal coverage would be instrumental in the prevention, management and treatment of NCDs, while leaving no one – no women and children – behind.

Third, we must raise the awareness and understanding on NCDs for our people to be able to lead a healthy lifestyle, as it is one of the most effective things to do to prevent NCDs. In this regard, Thailand values the engagement of civil society and local communities, such as our own case of Village Health Volunteers. The Village Health Volunteer system has been used to address NCDs for years and has recently been proven as an effective strategy to control the spread of COVID-19 in our country. The volunteers disseminate accurate information on the disease, closely monitor to early detect if any member of the community may be at risk of contracting COVID, as well as help deliver the needed medicines to households – which all these can be applied to our fight against NCDs as well.

Excellencies,

In closing, I would like to reiterate the importance of Universal Health Coverage in tackling NCDs. Thailand believes that with a resilient health system in place, along with the right mindset of people and communities on their health and well-being, we can prevent so many more deaths. And in turn, women and girls would able to act to their fullest potential towards their full and effective participation in the society as well as in decision-making, which would also build strong foundation for UHC and a healthier world for all

I thank you, and wish you all a fruitful discussion today.

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