A healthier Africa will further boost economic growth on the continent

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A report launched Monday at the Special Summit of the African Union on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria highlights increased, targeted health spending as an essential foundation to greater economic growth and development in Africa.

The report, Abuja +12: Shaping the future of health in Africa, by the African Union (AU) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), reviews progress made since the AU's 2001 Abuja Declaration—in which leaders pledged to mobilize domestic and international resources for health and remove barriers to the AIDS response.

The new report highlights five main recommendations for a healthier Africa: unifying leadership, generating innovative financing, making smarter investments in health, strengthening human resources and ensuring no one is left behind. Together, these recommendations aim to leverage health as a force for economic growth and social progress across Africa.

The report also highlights recent successes in the HIV, TB and malaria responses in Africa, including substantial reductions in the number of new HIV and TB infections and deaths from malaria. There is now much broader access to antiretroviral and TB medications and use of malaria control strategies such as insecticide-treated bed nets and indoor residual spraying are becoming more widespread.

Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS said "Twelve years ago, African leaders pledged to unite in addressing the health crises which were devastating the continent—and succeeded in making historic progress", adding that "A renewed and bold commitment in Abuja is essential…"

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’29″

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