Maternal, child health reflects Africa's resolve for peace, development

16:17, July 26, 2010      

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African Union (AU) leaders began a three-day summit in the Ugandan capital of Kampala on Sunday, July 25. This 15th Summit of the AU heads of state and governments however focuses, among others, on the maternal, infant and child health development. Moreover, they also confer on regional peace and security, agricultural development, food security, economic integration, and infrastructure development, etc.

Malawian President and current AU Chairperson, Dr. Bingu wa Mutharika, jointed 49 other heads of state and governments to attend the 15th Summit of the AU. At the opening ceremony, he said Africa has made some progress in the field of peace over recent years but that security problems still exist in some African nations and regions.

Dr. Jean Ping, chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, said that "although Africa was the hardest hit by the global financial crisis, its recovery has been so remarked that we could be at the beginning of what history will described as Africa's decade," but he also acknowledged numerous difficulties facing Africa's development. If people want to make peace a reality, the Pan-Africa must be aroused or mobilized, he said. "Let it be a reality; and let Africa prosper for her children."

Letters and pictures on African maternal, infant and child health development are available everywhere inside and outside the venue of the 15th AU summit.

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have attached particular importance to the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger. To monitor progress in this area, the MDGs set a specific target of reducing by two thirds, the under-five mortality rate between 1990 and 2015, and of reducing by three-fourth, the maternal death rate during the same 15 year period. To date, the infant and maternal death rates in the sub Sahara area have been the highest of the regions worldwide.

Asha-Rose Migiro, United Nations Assistant Deputy Secretary General, commended leaders of Africa for their political wisdom for taking reducing child mortality and increasing maternal health as the subject of the AU summit, but deemed that Africa is lagging far behind the MDGs requirements with its immense difficulties in achieving MDG goals within the time period prescribed.

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