- East Africa
4.4 million children die each year in Africa
Civil society organizations in Africa are crying out loud to be heard on the burden of alarmingly high maternal and infant mortality rates, and are calling for quick intervention to save African lives.
At the ongoing civil society meeting in Kampala, ahead of the coming AU summit, civil societies across Africa revealed that 4.4 million children including 1.2 million newborns and 265,000 mothers die every year in Sub-Saharan Africa over maternal, newborn and child health.
"We lose many mothers and children due insufficient medical care brought about by insufficient funding by our governments." said Habert Njesi, secretary at the ongoing meeting. "Statistics show that 4.4 million children die in Sub-Saharan Africa. And imagine, 265,000 mothers die each year. That should stop."
Director of Save the children Uganda, Peter Nkojera on behalf of the civil society challenged all African heads of state to rethink the matter. "It is time African leaders think about solving the issue of big numbers of infants and their mothers dying yet it can be avoided through proper medical care and treatment" Nkojera said.
Meanwhile, the executive director for Akina Mama WaAfrica, a renown NGO that advocates for women in Africa, Solome Kimbugwe is calling upon AU members states that have not ratified the Maputo protocol including Uganda to do so immediately.
"I appeal to all AU member states which have not yet ratified the Maputo protocol to do so immediately so that health issues in our countries is improved. That will reduce on maternal and infant mortality rates in Africa" Kimbugwe pleaded.
Maputo protocol insists that the budget on health should be at least 15 per cent of the each state’s total budget.
They agreed to remind the African heads of state who will attend the AU summit in Kampala soon to ratify the protocol.
AU summit will seat in Uganda late next week. Over 53 heads of state have confirmed participation.