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Special Summit of the African Union on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
<p>Press release</p>
July 8, 2013

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, 8 July 2013 / - INVITATION TO REPRESENTATIVES OF THE MEDIA

WHEN:  12 ­ 16 July 2013

The Special Summit will comprise the following Meetings:

12 July 2013: Meeting of the Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC)

13 July 2013: Meeting of the Executive Council

15 - 16 July 2013: Special AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government

WHERE: The International Conference Centre (ICC), Abuja, Federal Republic of Nigeria.

WHO: The African Union in collaboration with the Nigerian Government.

WHY: As the African Union celebrates 50 years of its existence, taking stock of development strides on the continent and projecting a vision for the next 50 years, challenges such as those of HIV, TB and Malaria have to be confronted to securely guarantee the future.

The theme of the Abuja+12 Summit: "Ownership, Accountability and Sustainability of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Response in Africa: Past, Present and the Future" is appropriate given that HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria remain major causes of morbidity and mortality in Africa and continue to pose serious challenges to socio-economic development and human security in the continent.

Objectives:

The aim of the Abuja+12 Special Summit is to review the status of implementation of the Declarations and Frameworks for Action from the a) Abuja Summit on Roll Back Malaria, 2000; b) Abuja Summit on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Other Related Infectious Diseases (ORID), 2001 and; c) Special Summit on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Other Related Infectious Diseases (ORID), 2006. The Abuja +12 Summit will review the status of African Governments investment in the various national responses to HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Other Related Infectious Diseases (ORID); and will adopt a set of actions to enhance the continent's response and efforts towards reversing the impact of these diseases by ensuring universal access to services and strengthened health systems, especially for the poor and most marginalized people.

The Abuja+12 summit will go a step further to review the effort of the continent in addressing HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria and the impact of this response on the health, financing and government systems. The special summit will also review efforts to achieving the health related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and defining Africa's health priorities as the dialogue for the post 2015 development agenda unfolds.

The specific objectives of the Abuja plus 12 Special Summit include:

--  To review the progress and achievements in the attainment of the targets of the 2000, 2001 and 2006 Abuja Summits, in the framework of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the post 2015 development agenda;

--  To review and identify factors that underpin the persistent burden of HIV, TB and Malaria on the continent;

--  To identify gaps of and challenges to the achievement of the Abuja and health related MDGs targets;

--  To review the status of health financing on the continent and commit to the implementation of innovative and sustainable health financing initiatives;

--  To obtain renewed commitment by African Leaders to address these challenges including through its African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) for driving the government's renewed commitment; and promoting health and well-being in Africa;

--  To articulate  Africa's position to project health at the core of development in relevant global forums especially the ongoing dialogue on defining the post 2015 development agenda;

Expected Output: The expected outcomes of the Summit include:

--  High level decision on reinforced government response and action to deliver on the Abuja commitments to address HIV, TB and Malaria, as well as strengthening the health systems obtained;

--  Reinforced action to utilize the platform of the AIDS Watch Africa (AWA) and the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) to facilitate Government's action and accountability to the commitment made at the Abuja+12 Summit.

Participants: Key participants will include national delegates comprising the Presidency; Representatives of Ministries of Health, Finance and Economic Planning, as well as National AIDS Councils; Malaria Control Programmes; TB Control Programmes; Maternal Newborn and Child Health Programmes; Civil Society Organizations, Regional Health Organizations (RHOs); Regional Economic Communities (RECs); the UN and its Specialized Agencies; Development Partners; the AU Commission and other AU Organs and Programmes; Representative of the Private Sector and representatives of professional bodies amongst others..

Background: Confronted with the consequences of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria and other related infectious diseases on population and development in Africa, the AU Heads of State and Government adopted the 2000 and 2001 Abuja Declarations and Action Frameworks which required Member States to take measures to halt and reverse the rate at which the disease has progressed and jeopardized the progress made in the socioeconomic development in Africa.

The "Abuja Call for Accelerated Action Towards Universal Access to HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Services in Africa" ​​of 2006 reinforced action by AU Member States against the three diseases by implementing the Abuja action plan based on a vision of "Universal Access to HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Services in Africa by 2010. In 2010, a five-year review of the "Abuja Call” acknowledged the progress achieved by several member states in the control of HIV AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, recognizing that gaps remain particularly in terms of population access to treatment, care and support,  resource mobilization, and in strengthening the health system.

Significant challenges continue to confront Member States in the bid to achieve the objectives of the "Abuja Call” and the MDGs by 2015. Indeed poverty and related socio-economic issues hinder effective access to services and contribute to huge unmet needs  On the continent, only 54% of those eligible for ARV treatment have access and only 10.9% of children under 5 years who suffered from malaria during 24 hours were treated according to national guidelines. The emergence of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis is a major concern given the significant costs involved in its treatment.

In addition, despite efforts across the continent, health systems continue to require further strengthening and the institutionalization of accountability mechanisms. Progress with regards to maternal, newborn and child health remain below set targets and significantly undermine development on the continent. Consequently renewed commitment at the highest level is critical to reinforcing action to facilitate the delivery of desired results.

SOURCE : African Union



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