Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in cooperation with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Palestinian Ministry of Health (MOH) are launching a new partnership for improving maternal and child health in Palestine. “Maternal and child health action is a top priority in order to be able to reach the many health related MDG goals by 2015” says Dan Rohrmann, UNICEF Special Representative.”
JICA started a new 3 year technical cooperation project: “Project for Improving Reproductive Health with a Special Focus on Maternal and Child Health in Palestine” to improve health among women and children in Palestine. Maternal and Child Health (MCH) services and management are upgraded through the capacity development of the medical and administrative staff. Grass-root health education activities such as workshops and home visit are also conducted to improve the awareness and health seeking behaviors among women and children, which include the development and promotion of the MCH Handbook
As part of the action, JICA and UNICEF will support the MOH in developing a Palestinian MCH Handbook. Japan has succeeded in the improvement of MCH through the adoption of a MCH Handbook into the Japanese health care system. JICA has been building on this experience for many years and has provided technical cooperation to many countries around the world to develop their own MCH Handbook. It is expected that the Handbook will be an effective tool for communication between service providers and parents which will encourage more participation of the community in creating a supportive environment for children’s health and women’s health in cooperation with the municipal government and the MOH. “The technical experience of JICA combined with the financial support of the Government of Japan and UNICEF’s field experience is a unique combination that will generate very important results in support of Human Security in Palestine” says Japanese Minister, Ryuta Mizuuchi.
The project will conduct training programmes both in Palatine and in Japan for MOH personnel to gain practical knowledge and skills necessary to develop and promote the MCH Handbook. The Handbook will be tested and distributed in pilot areas such as Jericho and Ramallah Governorates and subsequently distributed in the entire West Bank and Gaza Strip.
This Project is implemented as a part the JICA Development Program in Jericho and Jordan River Rift Valley which help ensure that municipal government and community people can take active parts in improving the health and quality of life in their community.