MDG 4 & 5 “Open Health Initiative” holds Validation Workshops

03 JULY 2012 — The East African Community (EAC) is looking for participation at Validation Workshops in six countries regarding the “Open Health Initiative” aimed at boosting maternal and child health in the region.

The EAC’s “Open Health Initiative” will promote innovative interventions and enhance access to data and information for better results, better tracking of resources and stronger oversight of results and resources for women's and children's health nationally and regionally, all geared towards achievement of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5.

Validation workshops open to interested parties

Over the next four weeks, the EAC will be holding one-day validation workshops with government and development partners to discuss the OHI plan for further country input. These meetings are open to all interested organizations.

The validation schedule by city and country is:

  • Kampala, Uganda 2 July - Hotel Africana
  • Nairobi, Kenya 5 July - Nairobi Safari Club
  • Stone Town, Zanzibar 9 July – Zanzibar Beach Resort
  • Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania 12 July – New Africa Hotel
  • Kigali, Rwanda 16 July – Lemingo Hotel
  • Bujumbura, Burundi 19 July – Sun Safari Club

Background

EAC Secretary General, Dr Richard Sezibera announced the regional bloc health initiative on 6 June 2012 at a preparatory meeting, which brought on board delegates from the Partner States and various international and regional collaborating partners. He said the target was for the Open Health Initiative to be officially launched by the 14th Ordinary Summit of the EAC Heads of State due in November this year.

Ambassador Sezibera noted that the EAC Partner States face similar challenges in terms of achieving the MDGs especially with regard to MDGs 4 and 5 which focus on maternal and child health. He observed that the latest regional statistics show that average reductions needed were 65 percent to achieve MDG 4 (reducing child mortality) and 61percent to achieve MDG 5 (reducing maternal mortality rate) as of 2010 and hence decried the fact that “under-5 mortality rates are still too high for our region.”

Sezibera hailed the various initiatives undertaken so far to address health service delivery such as President Barack Obama’s Global Health Initiative; the G8 Summit Muskoka Initiative; and the UN Secretary General’s Every Woman, Every Child initiative; but observed that while “all these initiatives are laudable and critical, they have to be nationalized and regionalized in order for women and children to access cost effective services.”

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