Health and conservation sectors unite for change in Madagascar

Health and conservation sectors unite for change in Madagascar

In remote areas of high biodiversity where communities depend on natural resources for their livelihoods, human well-being and the conservation of ecosystems are closely linked.

Integrated programmes that combine addressing unmet health needs with local management of natural resources can kick-start positive feedback loops: providing communities with the means to plan their families, invest in their children’s education, improve their livelihoods, and take an active role in the management of fisheries and forests.

These holistic Population-Health-Environment (PHE) initiatives deliver results in a cost-effective and sustainable manner, with knock-on benefits including poverty reduction and women’s empowerment.

Madagascar is renowned within the global PHE community as one of the birthplaces of this integrated approach. With a new democratically elected government that has identified access to health services and biodiversity conservation as key priorities, and the return of a number of international donors supporting sustainable development in the country, a wide range of actors have expressed their desire to get involved in a movement to support the broader adoption of this approach in Madagascar, at a time when it is also gaining momentum worldwide.

The meeting, organised by Blue Ventures and Voahary Salama under the patronage of his Excellency the Prime Minister of Madagascar and Minister of Health, Dr Roger Kolo, and the Minister of Environment, Ecology and Forests, Anthelme Ramparany, aims to capitalise on participants’ experiences and facilitate increasing collaboration between sectors in order to strengthen the implementation and impact of PHE across the country.

“Recent developments have shown that organisations do not necessarily have to step outside of their field of expertise in order to deliver integrated PHE programmes. A new partnership between the Duke Lemur Center and Marie Stopes Madagascar is demonstrating that conservation organisations can join forces with specialist health providers to offer services in remote and ecologically sensitive areas.  

This meeting provides an exciting opportunity to connect organisations from different sectors, and catalyse new partnerships for the long-term benefit of Madagascar’s people and environment.”  

Dr Vik Mohan – Medical Director of Blue Ventures

“Our country is facing significant development and environmental challenges. I am convinced that we will only be able to tackle them effectively and sustainably if we recognise and address the linkages between these issues in a holistic way.  

This event will bring together an unprecedented number of policy makers, donors and non-governmental organisations in order to build on our PHE experiences by discussing efforts needed to reinforce the broader adoption of this integrated model in Madagascar.”

Andriamandranto Razafimandimby – General Manager of Voahary Salama

— ENDS —

More details about the meeting can now be found here.

Notes to editors:  

The meeting will take place at the Carlton Hotel in Antananarivo on the 30th and 31st of July. Journalists are invited for photo calls and interviews at 12 noon on the 31st of July.

Official invitation (French) – download here
Terms of reference including list of invitees (French) – download here

For more information please contact:  
Laura Robson, Health Coordinator, Blue Ventures, London – [email protected]
Ny Aina Andrianarivelo, Conservation Coordinator, Blue Ventures, Antananarivo – [email protected]
Andriamandranto Razafimandimby, General Manager, Voahary Salama, Antananarivo – [email protected]

Blue Ventures is a marine conservation organisation that recognises the links between poor health, unmet family planning needs, gender inequality, food insecurity and environmental degradation. As a holistic response to these interconnected challenges, they have developed an award-winning PHE programme combining reproductive health services with marine conservation, sustainable fisheries and coastal livelihood initiatives in Madagascar. For more information please click here.

Voahary Salama is a platform of Malagasy associations and non-governmental organisations working on integrated PHE programmes in Madagascar. Its members work throughout the country on initiatives ranging from water and sanitation to nutrition, education and environmental protection. Voahary Salama also works closely with government partners in order to promote the inclusion of this holistic approach in national policy. For more information please click here.

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