AMREF cautiously welcomes G8 commitment to maternal and newborn health

Linked with African Medical and Research Foundation AMREF. – Published on AMREF, June 23, 2010.

G8 member countries will commit $5 billion USD towards maternal and child health over the next five years. Though this is welcomed by AMREF, it is well below expectations … //

… Specifically, AMREF recommends integrating NGOs and ministries of health in the design and delivery of primary health care services. To be effective, strategies must include the following:

  • Address the crisis in shortages of health workers with training and support for the right mix of community health workers (midwives, nurses, health extension workers) who are paid a living wage and integrated into the formal national health systems
  • Invest and maintain basic health facilities (health centres, dispensaries and clinics) with essential medical and pharmaceutical supplies
  • Remove all direct and indirect user fees for women and children
  • Ensure communities are full participants in the management of their health services.  

AMREF’s extensive and lengthy work in health development demonstrates that to achieve successful outcomes, health services must be organised and developed around communities as key participants. This must include the training of community members to act as bridges and facilitators with the formal health service. This approach results in acceptance and strong community engagement in better health for all.

“We must remember that Africa has 13 percent of the world’s population and 25 percent of the global disease burden but only 1.3 percent of the world’s health workforce,” said Dr Nduba, “AMREF’s experience in strengthening health development in Africa demonstrates that  increasing investments in maternal and child health can achieve dramatic results.”  (full text).

Read more about AMREF’s Stand up for African Mothers campaign.

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