Press Release

UNFPA Launches the Exit Phase of the Telemedicine Project on Maternal and Newborn Health

29 May 2017

Ulaanbaatar, 29 May  2017 - The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) officially launched today the exit phase of the Telemedicine Project, entitled “Innovation in maternal and newborn health services, Mongolia: from pilot to Institutionalization”.Opening remarks were made by Ms. Tsogtsetseg, Minister of Health, and Ms. Naomi Kitahara, UNFPA Representative.

The Minister of Health Tsogtsetseg expressed her sincere appreciation to the Government of Luxembourg and UNFPA for their continuous support in improving maternal and newborn health care in Mongolia and highlighted that the joint investment made by the Government of Luxembourg and UNFPA has been key to reducing maternal mortality in Mongolia. She emphasized that technological innovations through the telemedicine network brought the quality changes in maternal and newborn care in Mongolia.  “The implementation of the exit phase is a great opportunity for the Government of Mongolia to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals,” she said.    

Ms. Naomi Kitahara, UNFPA Representative, congratulated the Government of Mongolia for successful implementation of two phases of the Telemedicine project, which brought Mongolia in 2015 to become one of only nine countries in the world that achieved MDG target on maternal health. Moreover, she emphasized that the implementation of the exit phase of the project is essential, especially during the current economic difficulties faced by Mongolia, in order to ensure the sustainability of results and full handover of project interventions to national counterparts.

Funded by the Government of Luxembourg and UNFPA, the final phase of the Telemedicine project will be implemented in the next 2 years. Since 2007, the Government of Mongolia, the Government of Luxembourg, and UNFPA have implemented the Telemedicine Project to promote equitable access to quality maternal and newborn care in Mongolia as part of the overall objective to contribute to better health for the population. The Telemedicine project has been a highly innovative undertaking that established a network of medical professionals and maternity hospitals countrywide, connecting them to the capital city of Ulaanbaatar. As a result, pregnant women in even the most remote areas of Mongolia were able to receive expert consultation and life-saving care without the burden of traveling to Ulaanbaatar and exhausting their resources in the effort. 

At its conclusion, the project contributed to the overall reduction of maternal mortality by 75% in the country between 2000 and 2015, allowing Mongolia to become in 2015 one of only 9 countries in the world that achieved the maternal mortality reduction target of the Millennium Development Goals. This was achieved largely due to early detection and timely management of pregnancy complications, regular consultations among participating hospitals on maternal and neonatal cases, and easier access to training of health professionals through the Telemedicine consultation network.

The exit phase aims to ensure the sustainability and complete handover of project interventions to national counterparts by meeting the following objectives:

 (1) To consolidate the Obstetrics eHealth platform into national eHealth systems, as well as to institutionalize tele-consultation and eLearning platforms;

(2) To further strengthen the human resources capacity for maternal and child health care, and sexual and reproductive health; as well as to institutionalize all of the training interventions established through the first two phases of the project; and

(3) To strengthen the policy and financial environment for sexual and reproductive health.

The launch was held at the Tuushin hotel with the Honorable Ms. Tsogtsetseg A,  Minister of Health; Ms. Hulan, Honorrary Consul of Luxembourg, and Ms. Naomi Kitahara, UNFPA Country Representative in attendance. During the launch ceremony, the project document and the agreements with implementing partners were signed with the Ministry of Health, the National Center for Maternal and Child Health, Center for Health Development , Mongolian National University  of Medical Sciences (NNUMS) and UB City health departments (UBHD).   

 

About UNFPA (www.mongolia.unfpa.org) UNFPA is the UN agency delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled. UNFPA Mongolia currently implements the 6th Country Programme 2017-2021, closely in line with the United Nations Development Assistance Framework for Mongolia. Contact: Dr. Tsedmaa B/ Dr. Narmandaa at 88110520, 96068092 & 70140717