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We are five years from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Summit and deadline

   •   In 2015, world leaders will gather to review progress on the MDGs

       The next five years will be decisive in determining whether Africa will meet the health-
       related MDGs. With increased resources, bold political leadership and coordinated

       efforts, major successes are within reach. We can strengthen health systems so they can
       deliver quality health-care, resulting in the reduction of deaths due to malaria,
       HIV/AIDS, TB, and maternal complications.

       The health-related MDGs (MDGs 4, 5 and 6) are closely linked

Improving maternal and child health and combating HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases is


       Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for 49% of maternal deaths and 50% of under-5 child

       An estimated 340,000 women die due to complications in childbirth. The vast majority
       of those deaths occur in Sub-Saharan Africa.

       Globally, among women of childbearing age (15-44 years), HIV is the leading cause of

       Globally, 8.8 million children a year die before their 5th birthday. At least two-thirds of
       all child deaths are preventable

       Malaria heavily impacts pregnant women and children. As a major killer of children,
       malaria accounts for one quarter of all deaths of children under-five years in Africa.

We can improve maternal and child health

       Investing in women and children pays. The global impact of maternal and newborn
       deaths has been estimated at US$15 billion a year in lost productivity.

       By investing in disease control efforts we can rapidly save the lives of pregnant women
       and children. For instance, in Equatorial Guinea, a scale-up of malaria control

       interventions since 2004 led to a 63% reduction in all-cause mortality in children under

As African leaders, we are faced with a great opportunity

       Together we can improve the health of families and communities, contribute to
       economic development and growth in our region
       With strong political will and support, increased investment in health and health
       systems, we will see great improvements

We have examples on our own continent of remarkable results:

       Of the 19 countries that are on track to achieve MDGs 4 and 5, five are in Africa
       (Botswana, Egypt, Eritrea, Malawi and Morocco)

       Major progress in maternal health has been made in 12 malaria-endemic African
       countries where malaria interventions have reached high coverage, including Ethiopia,

       Rwanda, United Republic of Tanzania, and Zambia. More than 200 million nets have
       been delivered in just three years;

       Senegal reduced its under-five mortality rate by 22% between 1990 and 2006 and now
       has the lowest rate of malnutrition in West Africa.

       In Malawi, Mozambique, Niger and Ethiopia child mortality rates have declined by more
       than 40% from 2000-2007.

If our commitment wavers, we risk reversing the gains achieved in recent years in reducing
child mortality, improving maternal health and combating HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
And we risk losing the lives of millions of women and children from preventable causes.

As Heads of State, Ministers, and leaders in Africa, let us seize the opportunity. I call on you
each of us to:

       Renew our commitments made in Abuja a decade ago to allocate 15 percent of our
       national budgets to health and live up to our commitments; To date 6 countries in the

       region have met the 15 percent commitment.

       Call for a fully-funded Global Fund, which is to hold its Replenishment meeting in
       October 2010 under the leadership of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.

       Ensure that funding from the Global Fund and other donors remains additional and
       complementary to domestic health budgets

       Support the removal of taxes, tariffs and non-tariff barriers for HIV/AIDS, Malaria and
       TB related drugs and tools to help expand access and affordability for vulnerable

       populations, decrease healthcare costs, improve economic development as a result of
       reduced absenteeism from work and school and help us achieve MDG goals 4, 5 and 6.

       Serve as health champions and support informed national policies, such as a ban on
       monotherapies for malaria, that advance the health of women and children by, in

       particular, reducing the incidences of Malaria, TB and HIV/AIDs.

We also call on our friends and allies in the G20 and beyond to support our efforts
       The efforts by partner organizations and funders—UNAIDS, WHO, Roll Back Malaria,
       the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria and StopTB—are contributing to saving

       lives and need to be further supported and strengthened.

       World leaders have: Adopted the United Nations Millennium Declaration, thus
       committing to reducing extreme poverty and improving health outcomes; Added their

       voice of support to the UN Secretary General’s Joint Action Plan for Women’s and
       Children’s Health….We call on them to live up to these commitments

       Donors have an extraordinary opportunity to help scale up the progress we’ve achieved
       and work in partnership with Africa to achieve the MDGs. The financial crisis has hit the

       developing world as well and we need donor support, now more than ever


       The African Union Has Provided Strong Leadership and recognizes the importance of
       investing in health, especially that of women and children. To this effect it developed the

       Continental Framework for Sexual and Reproductive Rights, which was put in action by
       the Maputo Plan of Action 2007-2010. The AU has also recently launched the Campaign
       on Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality.

       The AU has also developed an Africa Health Strategy 2007-2015, which looks to
       complement existing national and regional strategies.

       The AU has also served to influence global efforts targeting improved health of women
       and children. The United Nations Secretary General's Joint Action Plan for Women’s and

       Children’s Health is one example.

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