Sixth Conference of AU Ministers of Health


AU health ministers approve second MNCH status report

The Sixth Conference of African Union Ministers of Health culminated in continued high-level commitment to women’s and children’s health. Held under the theme "the impact of non-communicable diseases and neglected tropical illnesses on Africa’s socio-economic development,” the conference resulted in the approval of a second maternal, newborn, and child health status report, as requested by AU Heads of State and Government in Kampala in 2010.

The report, which will be sent to AU Heads of State and Government for approval during the AU Summit in May, notes progress made improving women’s and children’s health in Africa while pointing to remaining challenges. The need to accelerate the reduction of newborn and adolescent mortality and morbidity resulting from pregnancy related complications was given particular emphasis.

Experts endorse position on health at the core of the post-2015 agenda

Health experts endorsed a position paper on the need for health at the core of the post-2015 development agenda during a lunch session on the same theme, co-sponsored by the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health. The document calls for the inclusion of “universal and equitable access to quality health care and improved healthy life expectancy of African populations” as a goal in the post-2015 development framework with targets including:

  • Improved maternal, newborn and child health
  • Enhanced access to sexual and reproductive health and rights, including family planning
  • Reduced incidence of communicable diseases (HIV/AIDS, Malaria and TB), non-communicable diseases (including mental health) and emerging diseases
  • Strengthened health systems, including health financing
  • Improved hygiene and sanitation