Will African Leaders deliver on their promises?

On July 27-29th 2010, much of the world’s attention was on Kampala, Uganda as African Heads of State came together for the three day African Union Summit on “Maternal, Newborn and Child Health and Development in Africa”. Leaders have promised to take concrete actions to reduce maternal child mortality, potentially saving millions of lives. This unprecedented political will could not only end needless of maternal, newborn and child deaths, but could also boost the development of the African nations and the continent.

As a result of the AU Summit, African Heads of State have issued a declaration in which:

  1.  The leaders promise to strengthen their health systems “to provide comprehensive, integrated maternal, newborn, and child health care services.”
  2.  The leaders welcomed important strategic decisions, including addressing the health worker shortage and investing in community health workers.
    3.  The leaders recommit themselves to meeting their Abuja pledge to devote 15% of their national budgets to health and pledge to reduce out-of-pocket payments working towards making health care for pregnant women and children under 5 free.
    4.  The leaders agreed to institute a strong monitoring and evaluation framework at national levels for collecting information on maternal, newborn and child health.

That’s not all. Keep reading and learn more about the good news coming from the AU Summit – help us hold African Leaders to their promises as we build up to the MDG Summit in September.

African Union summit: good news if leaders act on promises, by Chikezie Anyanwu, Save the Children’s Africa Advocacy Advisor
One of Many Stories I’d like African Union Heads of State to Hear, by Dr Naamala Hanifah Sengendo, Program Manager, Save the Children Saving Newborn Lives
Closed doors but open outcomes at the AU Summit, by Chikezie Anyanwu, Save the Children’s Africa Advocacy Advisor
Kampala Notebook: What African Union Promises Could do for Mothers and Children, by Chikezie Anyanwu, Save the Children’s Africa Advocacy Advisor

In the news:
African Leaders Agree To Expand Maternal Health Campaign As AU Summit Concludes, From the Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report
African Leaders Agree on Ways Forward on Maternal and Child Health, UNFPA Dispatch
African Leaders Pledge Action on Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health: Save the Children Urges Follow-Through that Could Save Millions, Save the Children

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