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Africa must commit more funding to health

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 18 – African ministers, statesmen and development partners have agreed on the need for leaders to commit to increased funding for health in Africa if the continent is to achieve related Millennium Development Goals.

The agreement was reached at the sidelines of the African Union summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia at a high-level session organised by Friends of the Global Fund Africa and the Africa Forum of Former Heads of States and Government.

Friends of the Global Fund Africa is a pan-African advocacy organisation involved in multi-sectoral advocacy for political and financial support for the fight against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Africa and The Africa Forum of Former Heads of States and Government is an umbrella organisation for former African Presidents and elder statesmen.

The meeting also agreed to scale up the political and financial commitments for sustainable impact on health related MDG’s and to straighten the leadership and financial support for research and development for new preventive technologies, vaccines and affordable pharmaceuticals and essential health commodities.

They also agreed to set predictable sustained financing of cost-effective programmes as a priority area of collective advocacy action. It was decided that UN agencies and other partners should provide technical support and knowledge generation for shared learning.

The leaders present noted that 12 years after the Abuja commitment to dedicate 15 percent of national budget to health only six African countries had met the target.

They therefore advocated for the need for political and financial commitment to the Global Fund from African Governments and the private sector.

The side-event was convened in support of the theme of the 19th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government: “Boosting Intra-Africa Trade: Africa’s Attainment of Millennium Development Goals.”

The side-event provided a platform to advocate for continued domestic financing for health by African Governments to attain the MDGs, as well as to continue raising public awareness of three related issues, namely agriculture, food and nutrition, energy security, and combating AIDS pandemic, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Africa.

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