1UNICEF Office, Tirana, Albania.
Effective and sustainable primary health care is a cornerstone for achieving the health-related SDG targets.
UNICEF’s Health Strategy (2016-2030) vision is a world where no child dies form a preventable cause and all children reach their full potential in health and wellbeing.
Universal Health Coverage for every child, built on a strong base of Primary Health Care (PHC), is crucial to fulfil this vision. Approaches employed by UNICEF globally to strengthen primary health care include: i) addressing inequities in health outcomes;ii) health system strengthening;iii) promoting integrated packages of care across the life course;iv) implementing multisectoral programmes;v) supporting emergency preparedness and resilience.
UNICEF in Albania aligns its country programme with national development priorities, country commitments in the EU accession process, and contributes to implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
In the new Country Programme (2022-2026) currently being discussed, UNICEF plans continue support the PHC to provide integrated, quality, financially sustainable and equitable maternal, new-born and child health and nutrition services, focusing on early detection of developmental difficulties, and early interventions for children at risk of inadequate care and nutrition. Evidence based advocacy and capacity development will contribute to improve the quality of neonatal care services. UNICEF will continue to advocate for the inclusion of child and adolescent nutrition in important health policy documents and action to improve nutrition outcomes across the life cycle, and will engage with families and communities to improve childcare practices and address vaccine hesitancy. UNICEF’s work in adolescent health will focus on overweight and obesity prevention and addressing mental health concerns among adolescent girls and boys.
Keywords: children, primary health care, SDGs, UNICEF.