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African Union

Johannesburg Declaration of the 3rd Ordinary Session of the African Union Conference of Ministers of Health

Johannesburg, South Africa

African Union (AU)

9-13 April 2007

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We, Ministers of Health of the African Union, meeting at the 3rd Ordinary Session of our Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, 9 -13 April 2007 under the theme "Strengthening of Health Systems for Equity and Development";

Deeply concerned by the multitude of public health challenges faced by our continent owing to, among others: weak health systems including inadequate social protection, rising levels of communicable and non-communicable diseases, shortage of human resources for health aggravated by brain-drain, widespread poverty and the impact of armed conflicts and violence;

Acknowledging existing national, regional and continental policies, programmes and partnerships as key for the promotion of health;

Cognizant that Africa has to make great strides to meet the Millennium Development Goals by 2015;

Also cognizant that the health sector is not merely a consumer of scarce resources, but a great source of national wealth; and that investment in people’s health is vital to sustainable socio-economic development;

Aware of the cross-cutting nature of health and the importance of inter-sectoral collaboration in the promotion of universal and equitable access to health services and reduction of the disease burden;

Further aware of the need to scale up the integration of traditional medicine into national health systems, including broadening the skill base of traditional health practitioners;

Taking note of the recommendations of the Inter-Ministerial Consultation on Health Work Force Development in Africa, Gaborone, 2-4 March 2007;

Recalling the Abuja Declarations on HIV/AIDS, Malaria, TB and Other Related Infectious Diseases;

Welcoming the launch of the Campaign to Accelerate HIV Prevention (11 April 2006), and of the Malaria Elimination Campaign (10 April 2007).

We hereby:

  1. Commit ourselves, in collaboration with our partners, to implementing the decisions and recommendations of the 3rd Session of our Conference, particularly those aimed at strengthening our health systems; and to providing periodic reports on the status of implementation to the AU Commission;

  2. Also commit ourselves to developing social protection systems, particularly for the poor and vulnerable groups in society, aimed at promoting greater access to health care services and protecting families from debt traps due to health emergencies;

  3. Further commit ourselves to implementing the Continental Africa Malaria Elimination Campaign and to launching similar campaigns at national level on 25th April 2007, on the occasion of Africa Malaria Control Day;

  4. Further commit ourselves to implementing programmes aimed at combating childhood illnesses, promoting safe motherhood and women’s health in general;

  5. Urge Member States to facilitate inter-ministerial collaboration for an integrated, wellcoordinated, harmonized and comprehensive response to the health challenges facing Africa. In this regard, we pledge to implement the Africa Health Strategy in collaboration with the AU, RECs, Regional Health Organizations, UN Agencies, Private Sector, Development Partners and other International and Civil Society Organizations;

  6. Endorse the proposal for urgently establishing a Technical Committee to facilitate the implementation and monitoring of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Plan for Africa;

  7. Resolve to develop mechanisms to effectively implement the Plan of Action on Prevention of Violence in Africa, including in situations of civil strife and armed conflicts;

  8. Also resolve to make the necessary efforts to utilize the Monitoring, Follow Up and Reporting Framework on the Commitments of the 2006 Abuja Special Summit on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, in line with scaling up towards universal access to health services;

  9. Undertake to implement a comprehensive program of action to address all the elements of the health workforce crisis in Africa, including achieving improved performance and effective deployment, tackling migration, scaling up production, securing sustainable financing, enhancing governance, stewardship and partnership, among others;

  10. Call upon UN Agencies, Private Sector, Development Partners and other International and Civil Society Organizations to continue to collaborate with the Continent and provide support to its development agenda, in a well-coordinated and harmonized approach;

  11. Request the AU Commission and RECs, in collaboration with all stakeholders, to coordinate the mid-term review on the implementation of the Plan of Action for the Decade of African Traditional Medicine (2001-2010);

  12. Finally request the AU Commission and RECs to promote and coordinate international partnerships, as well as follow up and report on the implementation of the outcomes of this meeting, in particular the Africa Health Strategy, at our next Ordinary Session.
Done in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 13 April 2007

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