African heads of government will meet in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city from 12 to 16July for the Abuja +12 special summit on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and malaria.
The theme of is “Ownership, Accountability and Sustainability of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Response in Africa: Past, Present and the Future’’, the special summit will review the status of African Governments’ investment and the various national responses to HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria 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.
It will also review the status of Maternal Newborn and Child Health on the continent as well as 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 summit is preceded by a civil society forum and meeting of experts which ends on July 9. This offers an opportunity to remind these leaders of the promises made in Abuja twelve years ago to intensify the fight against the trio of HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria, and devote at least 15% of national budget to health. Universal health coverage and accountability in governance will also be proposed as key elements for post2015 development framework in Africa.
This is a great initiative by the African leaders to convene to deliberate on issues of such critical importance!
My only concern is whether some of these leaders will be attending well briefed on the situation in the National response in their respective countries-have there been consultative multi-stakeholder fora where a stock of the situation on the ground has been taken or it is assumed that that given earlier National commitments they are already in the full picture of the status and challenges facing their individual countries in the National response to these killer diseases!
Have there been adequate consultation by civil society representatives on the same issues above!
Have issues of ownership been really addressed in their countries-effective and adequately funded coordination mechanisms as well as related programs!
If as a continent we are not adequately prepared through adequate preparation prior to attending these fora, then it is going to be another shop talk while disease continues to ravish populations in Africa!
My asking these questions as an African citizen clearly establishes doubts as to the actual readiness of some of our leaders including civil society representatives to contribute meaningfully to these deliberations!
For a long time now we have been shouting about not doing ‘business as usual’ in the face of these killer diseases without practicing what we preach.
From where I stand this might possibly be another networking fora for both Politicians and Civil Society leaders where nothing meaningful shall come out of this forum.
Meanwhile compliance has resulted in continuing decimation of African populations unheeded and unattended to !