Enormous progress has been made in the last 2 decades in improving the health and preventing deaths of women and children living in poverty, yet there is still much to be done. Over 7 million women and children still die every year, many during pregnancy and birth, the great majority from easily treatable or preventable conditions. Poor health is both a cause and a consequence of poverty, and widens inequalities.
This policy position paper sets out how the Department for International Development (DFID) works to improve health outcomes in developing countries. It explains DFID’s public health approach, which combines investments that achieve targeted results with investments that strengthen broader health systems. This approach is rooted in the UK government’s commitment to improve the health of the world’s poorest people. It puts people at the centre of what the UK does and engages communities in the promotion and protection of their own health. It also recognises the importance of the broader determinants of health, such as improved access to water and sanitation and increased girls’ education.
Working with other partners to support countries’ national plans and priorities, the UK approach delivers gains that countries can sustain and build on.