ITU champions ICTs in health

The ITU will take part in a new UN Commission focused on improving the health of women and children.

ITU said in a statement that its Secretary-General, Hamadoun Touré , will participate in the first meeting of a new high-level commission focused on improving global outcomes in women’ s and children’ s health at the end of this month.

Lead by WHO, and co-Chaired by President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania and Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada, the Commission on Information and Accountability for Women's and Children's Health is charged with creating a system to track whether donations are made on time, resources are spent wisely and transparently, and women's and children's health actually improves.

It has the support of UN Secretary-General Mr Ban Ki-moon, and will be co-Vice Chaired by Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO, and DrTouré .

The Commission holds its first meeting on Wednesday January 26 at WHO headquarters in Geneva. Its 26 Commissioners include experts from around the world in the field of public health and international development. It will make concrete recommendations the best and fastest way to improve accountability by May 2011.

Dr Touré will contribute his expertise in the field of ICTs to advise on new strategies that use technologies like mobile phones as key tools for health care and data collection.

  “ ICTs are among the most powerful tools we have at our disposal to dramatically improve health outcomes for infants and their mothers,” said Dr Touré . “ As co-Vice Chair of this important Commission, I look forward to sharing our knowledge and actively collaborating with partner agencies and ITU’ s unique mix of government and private sector members. Together, we can harness the power of technology to make a real and lasting difference to child and maternal health worldwide.”

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