AU calls for renewed action to strengthen health systems as a strong foundation to end AIDS, TB and Malaria by 2030
Adopt key initiatives on the three diseases for consideration by African leaders
Kigali–16 May 2018: African Union Experts meeting last week urged concerted action by Member States to strengthen health systems in order to build a strong foundation to end AIDS, TB and Malaria by 2030. The consultative experts committee meets ahead of the premier meeting of Heads of State and Government that takes place every mid-year to discuss key issues for advocacy, resource mobilisation and accountability for AIDS, TB, Malaria and the broader health and development agenda.
“Strong leadership, innovative interventions, better planning and wide access to medicines with more equity is critical in achieving universal access and to end the three diseases by 2030”, said Dr. Parfait Uwaliraye, Director General, Planning, Health Financing and Information Systems, Republic of Rwanda.
During the meeting Member State Experts discussed various key issues to advance Africa’s health and development agenda including the significant milestones towards the establishment of the Africa Medicines Agency (AMA) that will support regulatory harmonisation and facilitate medical product registration. The draft treaty for the establishment of the AMA has undergone extensive experts’ consultations and has been tabled for consideration by African Ministers of Health who will sit as a working group of the Specialised Technical Committee on Health, Population and Drug Control on 19 May 2018.
“The African Union is cognisant of the fact that without strengthened health systems, universal health coverage will not be achieved and the transformative agenda set in the bold and ambitious targets of Agenda 2063 for inclusive economic growth and development will not be met” said Dr. Benjamin Djoudalbaye, the Head of Policy and Health Diplomacy who was representing the African Union Commission.
Member State Experts also urged partners to accelerate efforts to implement the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Plan for Africa business plan. The African Union is working on plans to establish a Fund for African Pharmaceutical Development (FAP-D). A technical working group of the FAP-D has been established which will define the modalities and explore available options at margins of a continental conference bringing together private sector and public sector actors working to advance pharmaceutical sector development scheduled to take place in September in 2018.
The Experts also reviewed the 2018 Africa Scorecard on Domestic Financing for Health and urged Member States to further increase domestic resources allocated to health in the context of Africa’s increasing Gross Domestic Product and plateauing international support. The meeting noted the wide consultations on the Common Africa Position to the High Level Meeting on TB, the African Continental End TB Accountability Framework for Action and the End TB Scorecard and recommended these initiatives for endorsement by Heads of State and Government at the July Summit.
The meeting further requested the Commission and the RBM Partnership to coordinate with affected countries and facilitate the launch and roll out of the Zero Malaria Starts with Me campaign. In the context of the rising threat of viral Hepatitis the meeting further recommended that a Special Ministerial Session on Viral Hepatitis be convened to take stock on the status and provide a future continental direction.
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