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African health ministers set to address health issues

Africa’s Health Ministers on Tuesday converged on Luanda in Angola to discuss strategies of addressing the health issues affecting the region.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the meeting was jointly convened by the African Union Commission and the World Health Organisation.

The meeting, which officially opened on Monday, April 14 with the accreditation of delegates, has universal health coverage in Africa as a major issue on its agenda.

It also has maternal and child mortality, and non-communicable diseases as some of the other issues on its agenda.

According to a document made available to delegates at the meeting, the issue of universal health coverage is feasible in the context of countries in Africa.

It said the countries needed to urgently expedite action on the improvement of the health of its people.

The document said delegates would also discuss policies and strategies to address risk factors of non-communicable diseases in Africa.

It said they would also set milestones towards establishing the Africa Medicine Agency.

“Non-communicable diseases are responsible for 2.9 million deaths annually in countries in the WHO African region.

“Of these deaths, 45 per cent are premature, occurring between the ages of 30 and 70 years,’’ the document said.

Furthermore, delegates would discuss how to end preventable maternal and child deaths in Africa.

According to the document, maternal and child health are fundamental for social and economic development in Africa.

It expressed deep concern at the persistence of avoidable deaths and disabilities of women during pregnancy, childbirth and the post-partum period.

One other critical issue the document said the delegates would discuss was the establishment of an Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.

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