African experts have started the process of coming up with a new health framework aimed at ending HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria on the continent by 2030, a statement emailed to Xinhua from the African Union (AU) on Thursday said.
The AU health policy frameworks are due to expire at the end of 2015 coinciding with the end of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the AU has started the process of developing the new framework to the three deadly diseases on the continent, according to the statement.
“We need to position the health agenda as the most critical element that affects and is affected by all the development fundamentals. We must develop a roadmap with clear strategies, milestones, budgets and financing proposals to end AIDS, TB and Malaria by 2030,” Mustapha Sidiko Kalolo, the AU Commissioner for Social Affairs said in remarks delivered during the experts meeting in Victoria Town, Zimbabwe held from May 4 to 5.
While acknowledging that most AU countries have increased the proportion of total government expenditures allocated to the health sector from nine percent to 11 percent between 2001 and 2011, the official health funding in most countries still remains below what was required to achieve a functional basic health system.
However while the world is closest than it has ever been in defeating AIDS, TB and Malaria the response faces a major funding crisis, which calls for both accelerated innovative domestic financing and global solidary, he added.
The AU process of developing the new framework to end the three diseases by 2030 was in line with the 2013 commitment by top African leaders in Abuja, Nigeria.
Fifteen years after the 2000 and 2001 Abuja Declarations on Rolling Back Malaria and on ending AIDS and Tuberculosis, Africa has made unprecedented strides in responding to the three diseases, the statement said.
It added that the AIDS response has provided key lessons on shared responsibility and global solidarity pioneering new models of ownership, accountability and partnerships.
“In less than a decade, access to HIV treatment in Africa increased more than 100-fold and approximately 10 million people were on treatment by 2013. Progress in responding to malaria includes a 54 percent decline in malaria mortality rates and a reduction of malaria mortality rates among children by 58 percent since 2000,” the statement noted.
According to the statement, the picture of the TB epidemic was shifting positively with Africa’s TB treatment success rate reaching 82 percent in 2012. Enditem