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African Heads of State and Government define the future direction for AIDS, TB and malaria responses

African Heads of State and Government define the future direction for AIDS, TB and malaria responses

July 17, 2016
Press Release

Rwanda, Kigali-17 July 2016 Heads of State and Government on Sunday endorsed the AIDS Watch Africa (AWA) Report and its key recommendations. The meeting provided an opportunity to reflect on the future direction of the highest level continent wide advocacy mechanism for promoting accountability and resource mobilisation for AIDS, TB and Malaria in Africa.

“AIDS Watch Africa will continue to play an important leadership role in shaping the implementation of health continental policies at various levels. Let us continue to amplify our voices individually and collectively through AWA to advocate for more resource mobilisation and accountability in line with our 2013 Abuja commitments to end these three diseases by 2030,” said President Idriss Deby Itno of the Republic of Chad who is also the current AWA and AU Chairperson.

What it takes to end AIDS, TB and Malaria by 2030

The African Union has set very clear priorities with matching bold and ambitious targets to super fast track the end of the three diseases in the next fifteen years. The Africa Health
Strategy and the Catalytic Framework to End AIDS, TB and Eliminate Malaria in Africa by 2030 provide the broader frameworks but however are well supported by other policy documents. To end these three diseases, the Catalytic framework provides a business case for strengthened health systems, strategic information to inform policy and programmes and advocacy and capacity building.

Africa Scorecard on Health Financing and Strengthening National Health Accounts

The African Heads of State and Government also adopted the Africa Scorecard on Domestic Financing for Health during this meeting. This is an important milestone in promoting accountability, financial planning, performance monitoring and accountability by players at various levels. The scorecard measures progress towards meeting domestic and external health financing commitments. The quality of the data for the Scorecard depends on updated National Health Accounts. It is in this context that the African leaders requested the Commission in collaboration with WHO and other partners to support countries in strengthening National Health Accounts and submit the Africa Scorecard on Domestic Financing for Health annually to the Assembly.

Increasing domestic health financing and fully funding the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria

The Decision on the AWA report called upon Member States to explore innovative mechanisms to increase the allocation of domestic financing for health. However, with many countries’ tax bases not able to meet all the development challenges global funding mechanisms such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria remain critical.
“The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria remain critical in strengthening our health systems and and disease responses. I therefore urge all Heads of State and Government to support the Fifth Replenishment of the Global Fund,” said President Idriss Deby Itno.

Expanding access to affordable and quality assured medicines

The Heads of State and Government also underscored the importance of strengthening the pharmaceutical sector within the context of continental frameworks to promote public health and industrial development. The value of Africa’s pharmaceutical industry rose to $20.8 billion in 2013 from just $4.7 billion a decade earlier. However, the circulation of
fake drugs that compete with high quality drugs are creating an unequal playing field for companies that invest in production of quality medical products. The African Medicines Regulatory Harmonisation programme, the establishment of the African Medicines Agency and the AU model law supports the strengthening of the legislative environment for harmonisation of medicines regulations in Africa.

For more information, visit http://www.au.int

For further information contact
Tawanda Chisango| AIDS Watch Africa Programme Advocacy and Partnerships Expert | Social Affairs
|African Union Commission |Tel: +251115182229 |Mob 0934 167 052| E-mail: Chisangot@africa-union.org |web: www.au.int |Addis Ababa | Ethiopia

About the African Union: The African Union spearheads Africa’s development and integration in close collaboration with African Union Member States, the Regional Economic Communities and African citizens. AU Vision An integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in global arena. Learn more at: http://www.au.int/en/.

About AIDS Watch Africa: Created at the Abuja 2001 Special Summit, AWA is an Africa-led instrument to stimulate leaders into action and mobilize the resources needed to address AIDS, TB and Malaria in an effective, sustainable and accountable manner.