05 May 2023, Addis Ababa:-The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) officially launched its Reproductive Health Strategy Priorities 2022-2026 to improve maternal and reproductive health in Africa and contribute to reducing maternal mortality within the African Union (AU) Member States.
The meeting was attended by over 150 participants from 51 out of 55 AU member states, including Ministers of Health, Deputy Ministers, National Public Health Institutes and National Reproductive Health experts. Member States agreed to adopt the Africa CDC Reproductive Health Strategy Priorities 2022-2026 at the national and sub-nation level.
Speaking at the official launch, the Deputy Director for the National Reproductive Health Programme, Ministry of Health, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Dr Alice Ndjoka commented that, DRC remains committed to working with the Africa CDC and other partners to improve its maternal and reproductive health system, in order to reduce maternal and newborn mortality by adopting and implementing the Africa CDC RHSIP.
In 2006, the Special Session of African Union Health Ministers adopted the Maputo Plan of Action for implementing the Continental Policy Framework on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), which expired at the end of 2015. The goal was for all stakeholders and partners to join forces and re-double efforts, so that together, the effective implementation of the Continental Policy framework including universal access to sexual and reproductive health by 2015 in all countries in Africa can be achieved. This plan was revised by the African Union Heads of State at the 27th AU Summit in July 2016 in Kigali, Rwanda, and subsequently endorsed the Maputo Plan of Action (MPoA) 2016 – 2030. This plan reinforces the call for universal access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services in Africa and lays foundation to the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal 3 and 5, as well as the African Union Agenda 2063.
“Today marks an important milestone for the African continent, as we take a giant step forward on Reproductive Health. As we adopt and implement the Africa CDC Reproductive Health Strategy 2022-2026, this policy will greatly support countries’ efforts in establishing and strengthening their health systems to ensure optimal Reproductive Health for the population, and to reduce maternal mortality on our continent.” Noted Dr Mohammed Abdulaziz, Head, Division of Disease Control and Prevention of, Africa CDC.
To support and accelerate the implementation and monitoring of the MPoA 2016-2030, and following lessons learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic, in alignment with Africa’s New Public Health Order, Africa CDC has established a Reproductive Health (RH) unit under the Division of Disease Control and Prevention. This RH strategic implementation plan will form part of the overall Africa CDC five-year strategy (2022 – 2026) and it will focus on accelerating parts of MPoA 2016-2030, as one of the key components lagging behind implementation, as identified by member states.
Additionally, Seven years into the SDG’s, key RH indicators are off track for Africa, indicating that, Maternal mortality ratio for Africa is 542/100,000 live births (Global average 211/100,000, and SDG target 70/100,000 and Universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services for sub-Saharan Africa is 28%, north Africa is 35%, while Global average 44%) and Universal Health Coverage index for Africa is 46% while Global average stands at 66%.
“I wish to reaffirm Africa CDC’s commitment to execute its mandate. We will continue to support Member States, Regional Economic Communities, AU Organs, Institutions and other stakeholders to support the implementation of the outcomes of this meeting as well as to support Member States to domesticate, adopt and implement the Africa CDC RHSIP at all implementation level’’, said H.E Dr Jean Kaseya, Director General of Africa CDC.
The Plan outlined priorities of support to Member States aims at identifying member states lagging behind on SRHR SDG targets, map and engage support from RH partners in line with the Paris declaration, promote and highlight best practices, facilitate accelerated action and leverage political support to generate momentum to overcome RH challenges.
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About Africa CDC: Africa CDC is an autonomous public health specialized institution of the African Union that strengthens the capacity and capability of Africa’s public health institutions as well as partnerships to detect and respond quickly and effectively to disease threats and outbreaks, based on data-driven interventions and programmes. Learn more at: http://www.africacdc.org
About the African Union: The African Union spearheads Africa’s development and integration in close collaboration with African Union Member States, the Regional Economic Communities and African citizens. AU Vision: to accelerate progress towards an integrated, prosperous and inclusive Africa, at peace with itself, playing a dynamic role in the continental and global arena, effectively driven by an accountable, efficient and responsive Commission. Learn more at: http://www.au.int/en/
Mr. Thomas Joly Ngbonga, Communication Officer; Division of Policy, Health Diplomacy and Communication, Africa CDC; ZindotealaS@africa-union.org