REPORT OF THE AUC CHAIRPERSON ON HEALTH RELATED ACTIVITIES

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1 AFRICAN UNION UNION AFRICAINE UNIÃO AFRICANA Addis Ababa, ETHIOPIA P.O. Box 3243 Telephone: Fax: AU CONFERENCE OF MINISTERS OF HEALTH (CAMH6) Sixth Ordinary Session, April 2013, Addis Ababa, ETHIOPIA CAMH/MIN/2(VI) THEME: The Impact of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) on Development in Africa. REPORT OF THE AUC CHAIRPERSON ON HEALTH RELATED ACTIVITIES

2 P a g e 1 1. INTRODUCTION 1. Health is an integral component of development. The African Union therefore recognizes health both from the point of view of improving the quality of life of the population and also for its critical contribution to sustainable socioeconomic development in Africa. It is very important to note that almost all the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) revolve around the promotion health and creation of healthy society by reducing the negative impacts of hunger and poverty, illiteracy and ignorance, social and gender inequality, disease and malnutrition, including the devastating effects of the HIV/AIDS, and the impact of environmental degradation on human life. 2. In the two years following CAMH5 (Namibia 2011) the AUC continued to coordinate and facilitate implementation of key policy instruments and/or strategies the following of which are worth mentioning: a) 2005 Continental Policy Framework on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) in Africa and the 2006 Maputo Plan of Action for its implementation; b) The 2006 Abuja Call for Accelerated Access to prevention, treatment, care and support to those affected and infected by the HIV/AIDS, TB, Malaria pandemics as well as other infectious diseases; c) The 2007 Africa Health Strategy and its Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Plan for Africa and African Regional Nutritional Strategy. 3. Furthermore the 2012 Special Session of the AU Conference of Ministers of Health during made specific recommendations to advance implementation of the above mentioned strategies. 4. Consequently, this update report highlights, a number of initiatives were undertaken under the leadership of the Department of Social Affairs supported by partners between April 2011 and April UPDATE ON ONGOING INITIATIVES 2.1 Continental Policy Framework on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) in Africa and the 2006 Maputo Plan of Action for its implementation 5. The African Union Commission (AUC) has continued to promote the implementation of the Continental Policy Framework on Sexual and Reproductive Health as well as the Maputo Plan of Action (MPoA) for its implementation. The Campaign for Accelerated Reduction in Maternal (Newborn and Child) Mortality in Africa (CARMMA) has continued to be adopted, launched and implemented by Members States.

3 P a g e MNCH Status Report 6. The AU Summit of Heads of State and Government, in Kampala 2010 adopted key actions to improve MNCH amongst other things, they directed that annual status reports of MNCH be submitted to the Assembly. The AUC and its partners reviewed the status of MNCH in Africa in 2012 and produced the first report. Although the report shows an improvement in the status of maternal, newborn and child health in Africa, the recorded progress still falls short of the targets of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Continental and national leadership have repeatedly expressed commitment to the implementation of policies and programmes to address identified challenges and facilitate a positive change in the status CARMMA 7. The Campaign for Accelerated Reduction of Maternal, Newborn and Child Mortality in Africa (CARMMA) has continued to be adopted, launched and implemented by Members States. The total number of Member States that have launched the Campaign stands at 37, surpassing the targets set for 7 Members states per year in The AUC has strengthened the advocacy by launching a CARMMA website. Efforts are in place to reinforce action on CARMMA and potentiate its contribution to improvements to MNCH in AU Member states. 2.2 Population and Development 8. As per mandate, the AUC prepared the 2012 State of Africa Population Report that focused on how the continent can harness a demographic dividend through the opportunities provided by the continent s current demographic profile. The report presents the picture of a shrinking dependent population in Africa over the next several years. At the same time, the size of the productive population shall increase. Africa has a young and growing population and will account for about 29 per cent of the world s population aged by Furthermore, population projections indicate that the working age population in Africa is growing by 15.3 million people per annum, and this number is expected to increase over the coming decades. The report therefore recommends concrete policy actions that need to be undertaken to explore this demographic window of opportunity Post 2015 Development Agenda 9. The Commission has collaborated with partners in the on-going dialogue to identify the priorities for the continent as it relates to Health with regards to post 2015 Development Agenda. The Commission has undertaken consultation with CSOs and development partners to review progress towards the MDGs and identify priorities and issues that should form the crust of the post MDG agenda setting as it relates to the continent. These priorities have been incorporated into the African Commission Position on the post-2015 development agenda, which has been presented and endorsed by the 6 th Joint Session of Conference of African Union Ministers of Economic Planning and Finance in March 2013

4 P a g e Operational Review 10. The Commission continues to collaborate with the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to undertake the operational review of the (20 years of implementation of the International Conference on Population and Development, Programme of Action _ ICPD PoA). Questionnaires have been circulated to AU Member States and aboutn 49 member States have responded, the responses are being coded and analysed. The Commission has also undertaken consultations with Civil Society across the continent to receive their inputs into the dialogue defining the post ICPD development agenda. An African Common Position will be developed and presented to the Conference of Ministers in Charge of Population. 2.3 Health Systems Strengthening including Improving Primary Health Care Delivery Services Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Plan for Africa Business Plan 11. African Leaders undertook to pursue local production of generic medicines on the continent and to making full use of the flexibilities within the Trade and Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and DOHA Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health. The Heads of States and government endorsed the PMPA a business plan which is expected to provide a package of solutions to the myriads challenges confronted by the Pharma sector and aims to improve access to, affordability of and sustainable supply of essential quality medicines on the continent. Partners to support the implementation of the business plan are being mobilised to provide the necessary support to speed up implementation at the level of Member states which is soon to commence Nutrition: Cost of Hunger in Africa Study 12. With the aim of sensitizing African leaders on the food and nutrition security issues confronting Africa and the benefits of investing in nutrition, the DSA has continued to implement the Africa Regional Nutrition Strategy (ARNS). As part of this sensitization work, the Africa Food and Nutrition Security Day (AFSND) was launched in October 2011 and it shall be an annual event henceforth. Furthermore the Department has continued to lead the implementation of the Cost of Hunger in Africa study (COHA), a multi country initiative which seeks to estimate the social and economic impact of child under nutrition thus providing compelling evidence to guide policy decisions E-Health and Tele-Medicine 13. The AUC has been undertaking since 2011, to develop frameworks and partnerships to facilitate/support the use of ICTs for health to improve access to health services and strengthening health information management for evidence-based decision making. This includes the deployment of ehealth solutions, such as telemedicine and elearning in Africa. The Commission is collaborating with a host of partners to develop a regulatory framework for ehealth on the continent as a first but critical step to facilitate the delivery of set objectives.

5 P a g e Traditional Medicine 14. The AUC has continued to promote the use of African traditional medicine to strengthen primary healthcare delivery. After conducting the end of African Union decade on ATM ( ) review for in 2011, the progress made which varied from member state to another was highlighted in addition to challenges and gaps. Consequently the Action Plan for the 2 nd Decade of Traditional Medicine approved by CAMH5, with its 10 priority action areas was developed, adopted and is being implemented among Member States. 2.4 Abuja Call for Accelerated Access to prevention, treatment, care and support to those affected and infected by the HIV/AIDS, TB, Malaria pandemics as well as other infectious diseases 15. The Abuja Special Summit held in 2006 adopted the Abuja Call for Accelerated Action towards Universal Access to HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (ATM) Services in Africa as well as Africa s Common Position to the UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on HIV/AIDS, among others Abuja Call Report 16. In July 2010 at the 15th Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly held in Kampala, Uganda, the African Union Commission was mandated by the Assembly Decision on the Five (5)-Year Review of the Abuja Call for Accelerated Action Towards Universal Access to HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Services in Africa Doc. EX.CL/592(XVII) [Assembly/AU/Dec.291(XV)] to Conduct a review and alignment of the indicators of the Abuja Call to the MDG 6 targets and indicators and submit to the Fifth Session of the African Union Conference of Ministers of Health (CAMH5) and to submit a Progress Report on the status of implementation in 2013, in preparations for the review of MDGs in The African Union Commission, in response to this mandate, developed a comprehensive set of monitoring and evaluation indicators and aligned them with the MDG 6. Following the endorsement of the AU Ministers of Health in 2011, the M&E framework. 18. The AUC has prepared the second Abuja Call report as per mandate of the AU Assembly AWA revitalisation 19. The African Union has consistently considered HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis (TB), Malaria and other infectious diseases as emergencies on the continent and made several commitments to address the challenge, including in 2001 (Abuja Declaration), 2006 (Abuja Call) and 2010 (Kampala Declaration). 20. AIDS Watch Africa (AWA) was re-launched by the adoption of a decision by the AU Assembly (Assembly/AU/Dec.5 (XVIII) of January 2012 on Revitalization of AWA, as

6 P a g e 5 an advocacy, resource mobilization and accountability platform of Heads of State and Government This high level platform is spearheaded by the Action Committee comprising Heads of State and Government (Champions) and the Chairperson of the AU Commission. All AU Member States are now member of AWA. 21. The July 2012 meeting of the AWA Action Committee adopted two major documents, namely: (a) the Future Direction of AWA ; and (b) the Roadmap on Shared Responsibility and Global Solidarity for AIDS, TB and Malaria response in Africa ( ). These documents were endorsed by the Assembly in its Declaration Assembly/AU/Decl. 2(XIX). The Roadmap calls on AU Member States to strengthen ownership, accountability and partnerships to accelerate progress to achieve clear deliverables under three pillars: (1) Financing; (2) Access to Medicines; and (3) Enhanced Governance, to help countries build long-term and sustainable solutions Other Infectious Diseases 22. Though the burden of infectious disease has diminished globally, infectious diseases are still a major obstacle to development in Africa. These diseases continue to perpetuate inequality and poor health and development outcomes for the marginalized, rural and urban poor. Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) comprise parasitic and bacterial infections that are easily spread through populations suffering from poverty, poor access to clean water and sanitation, and other health conditions, and they trap their victims in a cycle of poverty and disease. In response to the challenge of NTDs, the AUC has developed the Continental Policy Framework for the Control and Elimination of the NTDs in Africa by CHALLENGES a) Varied priorities and political will at the level of Member states hinders a cohesive implementation of continental programmes; b) Resource limitations; c) Multiplicity of partners implementing vertical programmes both at continental and national levels; d) Weak synergies between Commission s programmes and those of the Regional Economic Communities. 4. OPPORTUNITIES a) Increased recognition of the mandate and role of the Commission in setting the continent s agenda in Health; b) Increased convergence of the overall priorities and set results of the health programmes of major continental stakeholders such as AFDB, WHO and NEPAD.

7 P a g e 6 5. RECOMMENDATIONS a) Coordination with the Regional Economic Communities and synergies with their health programmes should be undertaken; b) Collaboration with development partners should be implemented in a strategic manner to ensure strengthened national level implementation.

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