What is the value of #nutrition in advancing #health security and the socio-economic well-being ‎of #Africa’s population? Be a part of the conversation ‎at #STCHPDC42022‎ as we discuss ‎arising matters on health, #nutrition, #population and #drug control in #Africa by sharing the ‎key messages and graphics in this toolkit: https://express.adobe.com/page/J0RdC5EkxAdbS/

30 May – 01 June 2022 (Virtual) -The Experts’ Meeting of the Fourth Ordinary Session of the Specialized Technical Committee on Health, ‎‎Population and Drug Control (STC-HPDC-4)‎ began on Monday, 30 May 2022‎.

The Ordinary Session is being held under the theme “Advancing health security and the socio-economic well-being of Africa’s population: Value of nutrition as an intervention”, in line, with the AU theme for the AU 2022 theme of the year “Strengthening Resilience in Nutrition and Food Security on the African Continent: Strengthening Agro-Food Systems, Health and Social Protection Systems for the Acceleration of Human, Social and Economic Capital Development”. It is being spearheaded by the African Union Commission’s Department o Health, Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development‎.

The overall objective of the STC-HPDC-4 is to engage in in-depth discussions around priority areas in health, nutrition, ‎population, drug control, and crime prevention to improve the health ‎security and socio-economic well-being of Africa’s population‎. Broad areas of discussion will include – but will not be limited to – progress on the implementation of continental policies, strategies, ‎programmes and decisions in health, nutrition, population, drug control and ‎crime prevention; areas of cooperation and establish mechanisms for regional, ‎continental and global cooperation; ‎Common African Positions in health, nutrition, population, ‎drug control and crime prevention; and relevant AU policy organs on ‎priority programmes and their impact on improving lives‎.

Speaking at the Opening ceremony of the high-level meeting, Dr. Mohamed Hassany‎of the Arab Republic of Egypt and the Representative of the Outgoing Chairperson of the Third Specialized Technical Committee on Health, ‎Population and Drug Control congratulated the collaborative effort of AU Member States to manage the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure equitable, quality access to vaccines. In his conclusion, he reiterated the importance of joint support for complete recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

 “Looking forward to exchanging notes on how to continue securing healthy and prosperous life for the next ‎generation,” ‎ he concluded.

‎Dr. Margaret Agama-Anyetei, the Ag. Director of the Directorate of Health and Humanitarian Affairs of the African ‎Union Commission welcomed the Experts to the Fourth ‎Ordinary Session of the Specialized Technical Committee on Health, Population and ‎Drug Control‎‎ and reiterated the alignment of the STC’s theme with the 2022 AU Theme of Year on Nutrition. She also presented key achievements in health, nutrition population, and drug control ‎programmatic work at the AU Commission level.

“The Commission continues to rely on the guidance of AU Member States on the matters presented in this STC. ‎We have less than ten years to fully implement the Africa Health ‎Strategy (2016-2030). There is a need ‎to accelerate efforts towards strengthening health systems ‎‎performance, increasing investments in health, improving equity and ‎addressing social ‎determinants of health, including nutrition, to ‎reduce priority disease burdens by 2030‎”, she emphasised.

‎Over three days, senior officials from the AU Member States will discuss papers on the session’s theme and hold three parallel sectorial sessions with presentations and discussions on Health, Nutrition, Population, and Drug Control. The meeting will also prepare a draft agenda and decisions for the consideration of the Ministries of Health, Nutrition Population, and Drug Control in the Ministerial Meeting to follow‎. The Experts’ session will conclude on 1 June 2022.

The participants of STC-HPDC-4‎ are experts and senior officials from Ministries of Health, Nutrition Population, and Drug Control in the AU Member States, partners, and AU Organs, including the Pan African Parliament, the Regional Economic Communities and International Organizations working in the areas of concern.