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AAI Launches New Project With African Union Commission

Tuesday, April 10, 2012 - 12:38

Monitoring the Maputo Plan of Action and International Conference on Population Development

To read the full brief, refer to http://goo.gl/6JCj4.

Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) are usually understood as the rights of all people, regardless of their nationality, age, sex, gender, health or HIV status, to make informed and free choices with regard to their own sexuality and reproductive well-being, on condition these decisions do not infringe on the rights of others. This includes the right to access education and information, services and healthcare.

As much as SRHR are considered to be basic human rights and fundamental to development, conditions are devastating the African continent:

  • 25 million Africans infected with HIV and 12 million children orphaned due to deaths related to AIDS;
  • Two million deaths from AIDS each year, women increasingly affected with the feminisation of the epidemic;
  • One million maternal and newborn deaths annually;
  • African women having a 1 in 16 chance of dying while giving birth;
  • High, unmet need for family planning with rapid population growth often outstripping economic growth and the growth of basic social services (education and health), thus contributing to the vicious cycle of poverty and ill-health. Today, by any measure, less than one third of Africans have access to reproductive health (RH)”.[1]
As a result of the state of SRHR in Africa, various governments, as well as regional economic communities (RECS) such as the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the continental organisation the African Union (AU), responded to the call to act with the development of policy on SRHR, not least of which was the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in 1994, the African Union Conference of Ministers of Health (CAMH) and the Maputo Plan of Action (MPOA) in January 2006.

In addressing population, the environment and consumption patterns, the ICPD PoA focuses on the family, internal and international migration; prevention and control of HIV/AIDS; technology, research and development; and partnership with the non-governmental sector.

The Maputo Plan of Action for the Operationalisation of the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Continental Policy Framework, commonly known as the Maputo Plan of Action (MPOA) or Maputo Plan, aims to achieve universal SRHR in Africa by 2015. In order to assess member states’ progress in implementing this plan, the AUC administered a Progress Assessment Tool (PAT) – a questionnaire completed in 2010 for a five-year review of the Maputo Plan of Action.

At their 15th Session, the AU Assembly requested the AUC to develop (and align with MDGs 4 and 5) a set of indicators for monitoring and reporting on the MPOA. The AUC has gone through a rigorous process of developing and piloting the indicators.

Long term objective

AAI and the AUC will partner in implementing a project that will contribute to the long term objective of improving sexual and reproductive health and rights in Africa, by strengthening the evidence base for decision making and enhancing collective participation of all segments of the population especially women, girls and other vulnerable groups.

For more about this project, refer to http://aidsaccountability.org/?page_id=6260.

For more about the African Union Commission, refer to www.au.int/en/commission.

For more about the AIDS Accountability International, refer to http://aidsaccountability.org.