African Union recommends more spending on maternal and child health


Africa: On Course to Cut Maternal Deaths

James Ratemo

The legislative arm of the African Union, the Pan African Parliament (PAP), has adopted a broad resolution urging speakers of Parliament in the continent to prioritize the implementation of maternal, newborn and child health programs.

The latest development marks a significant milestone in accelerating progress in Africa towards the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5 on child and maternal health, respectively.

In line with this commitment Kenya plans to recruit and deploy an additional 20,000 primary care health workers; establish and put into operation 210 primary health facility centres of excellence to provide maternal and child health services to an additional 1.5 million women and 1.5 million children; and will expand community health care, and decentralize resources.

According to the United Nations, 7.6 million children under the age of five and approximately 350,000 women die each year of pregnancy-related causes, most of which are preventable.

In the resolution passed during the 5th session of the 2nd Pan African Parliament held on 3rd-14th October, in Midrand,Johannesburg, South Africa, PAP members reiterated that maternal, newborn and child health is critical to overall human and social development in Africa.

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