African Union Summit on Maternal, Infant and Child Health and Development


PMNCH/CSO press releases

Press release: PMNCH + Africa Public Health Alliance - 15% Campaign
Small investment could save 11 million African lives

21 JULY 2010 | GENEVA AND KAMPALA - In the next five years, 11 million African women and children could be saved by creating near-universal availability of key life-saving interventions: This message to leaders gathering at the African Union Summit in Uganda focusing on “Maternal, Infant and Child Health and Development in Africa” from The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH) and its partner, the Africa Public Health Alliance-15% Campaign, from data released in the Countdown to 2015 Decade Report (2000-2010).

Letter from 177 African Civil Society Organizations to African Union Summit

23 JULY 2010 | KAMPALA - 117 African Health, Social Development, Gender Based, Youth, Human Rights Organisations, and Trade Unions have written to the July 2010 15th African Union Summit of Heads of State holding in Uganda - urging governments to uphold, improve and urgently implement African and global health and social development financing commitments.

In a letter to be submitted this week to Ambassadors of African governments to the AU, African Ministers, and Heads of States, the organisations expressed grave concern at recent well reported statements by senior officials of some African governments that “governments have other competing priorities besides health”, with some reportedly going as far as stating that Presidents should be advised to drop the Abuja Commitments to allocate 15% of national budgets to health….. Importantly, the organisations ….have also underlined that just allocation of 15% of budgets to health will not be adequate to overcome Africa’s health challenges….The organisations are therefore calling on African governments to improve from the 2001 Abuja commitment of only allocation of 15% of budgets to health; to implement a more comprehensive health, population and social development formula described as 15 % Plus - which includes improved per capita investment; improved investment in social determinants such as clean water and nutrition; as well as better percentage allocation of budgets to health.

Save the Children

Also, ahead of the leadership summit on Friday, Save the Children "urged African leaders to take clear actions to end the majority of the continent's annual 4.5 million child deaths and 265,000 maternal deaths." Save the Children "also urged the leaders to make sure the resources are there and that every African country should meet and exceed its 2001 promise in Abuja , Nigeria to spend at least 15 percent of the national budget on health care. 'Additionally, a meaningful portion of this budget must specifically dedicated to maternal, newborn, and child health,' it said, adding that countries must recruit, train and retain more doctors, nurses, and midwives to help reduce the overall gap of 800,000 health workers in Africa by 2015" (7/23).

Press conference with H.E. Mr. Ping, Chair of the African Union Commission

Q : Out of almost 20 questions only 1 was about MNCH - How will the theme of the Summit be overrun by questions on peace and security?

A : ‘The heads of states will dedicate 4 hours to this theme during the Assembly. This comes in addition to the various venues where this has been discussed for instance it was a topic of the G8 that yielded strong commitment. International discourse indicates that Africa is falling behind on the achievement of the MDGs. This is a grave problem that needs to be remedied. The Muskoka Initiative has pledged to raise an additional 5 billion dollars over the coming 5 years bringing the total of G8 contribution to 10 billion. In Africa a woman one in 16 women die of pregnancy related causes and every minute 8 children die of avoidable causes. This is clearly a critical issue and remains a critical issue that will be discussed but you must understand that current development have someone drawn attention to security.’

Press release: Global Health Organisations
Call for Increased Commitments to Maternal and Child Health at African Union Summit

26 JULY 2010 | KAMPALA - On the occasion of African Union Summit, global health organisations are calling for increased commitments to improve the health of women and children in Africa in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). With Sub-Saharan Africa still accounting for over half of all maternal and child deaths worldwide, the health organisations say that increased national health spending and the replenishment of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation are key for progress. A holistic approach to healthcare, through the strengthening of healthcare provision for better integration and delivery of services plus a strong political will are other essential elements.

The global health organisations, including the African Leaders Malaria Alliance, UNAIDS, Stop TB Partnership, Roll Back Malaria Partnership, UNITAID, The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the United Nations Foundation in addition to The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, point to the immense economic and social opportunities that coincide with improved health of women and children. In Asia an estimated 30-50% of economic growth from 1965 to 1990 has been attributed to reductions in infant and child mortality,

Statement from the Pan African Parliament Chairs of the Committees of Health and Finance

"We commend the African Union Commission and member states for the strong Declaration “Actions intended to achieve Maternal, Newborn and Child Health and Development in Africa by 2015”. This declaration marks the beginning of a concerted continental effort that will bring together all the different stakeholders in coordinated action for the reduction of preventable maternal and child deaths on the continent. "

Africa Public Health Alliance & 15 Per Cent Plus Campaign: Reaction to July 2010 AU Summit health outcomes

30 July 2010 - The Africa Public Health Alliance and 15% Plus Campaign welcomes the broadly positive outcome of the July 2010 15th African Union Summit focussing on the theme of Improving Maternal, Newborn and Child Health....

However resolutions are only as effective as their implementation, and many governments have a poor record on implementation of commitments. Tools to guide the development of effective health policies such as the AU Africa Health Strategy exist and should be used to guide efforts to improve health outcomes.