2012 Annual African Women Parliamentarians’ Conference
4 - 5 October 2012 | Midrand, Johannesburg - The theme of this year conference was "The Role of Parliamentarians in Promoting Maternal, Newborn and Child Health in Africa". The event was chaired by the Pan African Parliamentary Committees on Gender, Family, Youth; and Health, Labour and Social Affairs. Prof Miriam Were represented the iERG and shared most recent information on the developments in maternal and child health as well as her view with regard to the opportunities for parliamentarians.
There are visible signs of hope witnessing to the fact that African countries are more than ever committed to making difference in the health and wellbeing of their women and children. African Ministers responsible for civil registration and vital statistics are addressing the Accountability Commission’s first recommendation 1 on vital events: their first conference took place in 2010 in Addis Ababa followed by the establishment of a CRVS Secretariat at the UN Economic Commission for Africa. By the second meeting in Durban, South Africa, in 2012, impressive progress has been made.
Countries recognize that getting community involvement in health promotion and in use of health services is key to achieving MDG 4, 5, & 6 and overall health development. The following country examples highlight these positive trends: Ethiopia (heath extension workers), Ghana (Community-Based Health Planning Services (CHPS)), Kenya (community health strategy), Malawi (health surveillance assistant), Nigeria (stepped up training of midwives to get midwifery and child health services to the people), Zambia (National Program for Community Health Workers (CHW)).
Increased involvement of African women in politics both at the head state level and in parliament helps bringing problems of women and children to the top of the political agenda, establishing effective networks among law -makers to get more funds allocation to the health sector and mobilizing advocacy to improving the health of women and children in Africa.