Health and immunisation are increasingly important in today’s dynamic world, yet the question is how to keep this issue bipartisan, and sustain the political will at a high level
Copyright UNICEF/2010/Patrizia Paterno
Health and immunisation are increasingly important in today’s dynamic world, yet the question is how to keep this issue bipartisan, and sustain the political will at a high level. This special session brought together Members of Parliaments to discuss these very questions and generated a lively discussion.
“Now we are living in the decade of Vaccines, and one of the key ingredients of this plan is country ownership. We cannot achieve country ownership if the whole political body is not involved. “ Ciro de Quadros noted at the beginning of the discussion.
The panel discussed the need to obtain political will through civil society advocacy activities, empowering and arming leaders with technical knowledge so that they can convince governments and other leaders in the results based power of health.
Mike Sebalu also called on leaders to enroll other leaders in engaging and owning political will for health and immunisation. He said, “I want to see religious leaders part of this ownership. I want to see cultural leadership, academia, be part of that ownership. When we talk about political will it should be focused on those with authority to bring a range of other leaders. Even leaders of student organizations. I want to bring another dimension from a parliamentary point of view.”
On the question of how to build bipartisanship, Lord Paul Boateng noted that it needs to appeal to the whole political spectrum. He cited GAVI as an example of a cause that has bipartisan support in the UK: “The strength of the GAVI model appeals to right, left and center. It ticks the box of concern for common humanity for the left and center, and ticks the box of the right preoccupation that it involves PPP. It’s also for the profit sector too, utilizing market mechanisms. That is why it has been possible to create all party support for GAVI.”