Published on Investing in Health

Maya’s second birthday: Celebrating strong health systems

This page in:

We’ve got something to smile about this week at the World Bank: Our baby Maya, who has shown us the importance of having a strong health system and access to quality maternal and child health care, has reached her second birthday!


To mark this special occasion, we’re launching a new video about the things that helped Maya achieve this milestone, including access to family planning and proper nutrition. These are two key services provided by well-functioning health systems that create healthy futures for mothers and their children—along with other affordable services, trained health workers, clean water, vaccines, well-equipped clinics, and many other moving parts.


The video—the second in a series that began with Maya’s birth—comes as the global health community holds a summit on family planning this week in London. I hope Maya’s story underscores what a difference access to effective family planning can make. By giving women the means to space the births of their children by three years, for example, deaths of children under-five would decrease by 35%.


Maya’s story also reminds us of the importance of good nutrition during the 1,000-day window between a woman’s pregnancy and her child’s second birthday, including exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life.  Getting it right during this critical period can have a long-term impact on a child’s ability to grow, learn, and prosper.


Please take a few minutes to watch our video and let us know what you think—in the comments below or on Maya’s Facebook page, where she has a loyal following. We’ll also be Tweeting about Maya, so please follow along on our Twitter feed.



World Bank and Health

Making Maya cry: Why health systems matter


Cristian Baeza

Former Director, Health, Nutrition, and Population

Join the Conversation

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly
Remaining characters: 1000