African Heads of States, Governments, to Speed up Reduction of Maternal Deaths

21 January 2013

Meeting at the African Union Summit 2013, Heads of States and Government made new commitments to speed-up the reduction of maternal death and disability in the continent. With impressive turn out of Heads of States; UNFPA Executive Director and many Country Representatives including Pamela DeLargy, UNFPA Representative to Sudan and UNFPA senior staff participated in the meeting. The meeting aimed at reinforcing the Campaign on Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Africa (CARMMA). The event was organized by the African Union Commission, with the help of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund.

Among others, the African leaders committed to:

  • Redoubling efforts to improve maternal, newborn and child health to speed-up progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals;
  • Encouraging more States to launch CARMMA and urging all countries to seek new ways of channeling additional human, financial, domestic and external resources for maternal and child health
  • Expanding access to family planning and other reproductive health services as well as reducing the huge unmet need for contraception.

The leaders acknowledged progress made in maternal and child health, including the 41 per cent reduction in thematernal death ratio and a 33 per cent cut in child death in Africa since 1990. CARMMA has already been launched in37 countries. Sudan has recently joined the initiative.