Reclaim the Gains: Addressing COVID-19’s secondary health crisis for women, children and adolescents


Past Event

Wednesday, Sep 29, 2021
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM (UTC)

Registration Required









UNGA Guide

The COVID-19 crisis is reversing years of hard-won gains for women, children, and adolescent health and human capital outcomes. More than one year on, with disrupted health systems stretched to the breaking point and economies severely impacted, women, children and adolescents in the world’s poorest countries have been hardest hit by a secondary crisis that threatens to roll back the remarkable gains made over the last decade.

The world was making steady yet uneven progress in improving health outcomes for women, children and adolescents. Amid better access to family planning, skilled birth attendants, and better nutrition, the newborn mortality rate almost halved worldwide between 1990 and 2018.

Now, the pandemic is reversing hard-won gains on the Sustainable Development Goal of achieving health and well-being for all by 2030. In many low- and middle-income countries, coverage of essential health services for women and children has dropped by up to 25% during the pandemic. Reports have flagged rises in stillbirths and maternal deaths, while contraceptive use has been disrupted for an estimated 12 million women in 115 countries. Women and girls have also borne the brunt of other secondary impacts of the pandemic: dramatic increases in gender-based violence, protracted school closures, job losses, and increases in unpaid care.

These trends threaten to cause a lasting secondary crisis if COVID-19 efforts are not complemented by investments in and integration of essential health services for women, children and adolescents as part of the response and recovery.

This event, hosted by Devex in partnership with the Global Financing Facility for Women, Children and Adolescents (GFF), will explore how and why countries and partners must maintain a laser focus on protecting and promoting the continuation of essential health services for the most vulnerable populations and strengthening frontline community and primary care services and systems to help countries prepare for the equitable, affordable and safe delivery of vaccines and tools - while also strengthening health systems and building resilience for future pandemics.