African "heads of state gathered in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa for the African Union Summit met at a side event on Sunday, Jan. 27 to renew their commitment to reducing the maternal mortality rate on the continent," Inter Press Service reports. The news service notes the 2009 launch of CARMMA, the Campaign for Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Africa, by the African Union and UNFPA, which aims to "mov[e] Africa closer to achieving Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 5: reducing the maternal mortality rate by three-quarters and ensuring universal access to reproductive health care by 2015."
"African Union Commissioner of Social Affairs, Dr. Mustapha Kaloko, is not convinced Africa will reach the set goal by 2015 but he does believes CARMMA has the capacity to accelerate the reduction," according to IPS. Kaloko said, "We are not developing new plans, but improving the instruments we already have," the news service writes, adding UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin said, "This event is not about money but about commitment. We are here to ensure that no women dies giving life." The article discusses challenges and possible solutions and notes, "So far, Equatorial Guinea is the only African nation among 10 countries worldwide to have reached MDG 5" (Biset, 1/27).
This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.