African health care financing meeting tackles MDGs

I am attending the Conference of African Finance and Health Ministers with African health advocates in Tunis, Tunisia this week to discuss how they plan to meet the health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015. We have less than three years to go to reach these goals, and Africa still accounts for 53 percent of maternal deaths, 50 percent of under-five child deaths, 30 percent of tuberculosis cases — 67 percent of those infected with HIV/AIDS.

Hopefully, this technical meeting will create a common understanding of the causes of ineffective health financing, an important part of making sure that treatment gets in the hands of those who need it most. It also aims to forge consensus on remedial measures, in particular by raising awareness of successful experiences from Africa and promoting South-South learning.

The conference is expected to result in the adoption of a framework for engagement and action, which would be used by governments to engage relevant stakeholders in concrete programs to move the health agenda forward — and hopefully closer to the world’s goal of achieving the MDGs.

It’s great to see that African leaders and citizens have the will and determination to take ownership of a bright and healthy future for their people, and I look forward to reporting on the results of this meeting. Stay tuned to the ONE Blog for more.

Check the status of the Millennium Development Goals and go to our MDG tracker page.