In the run up to SADC Health Ministers Conference holding January 12th to 15th 2015 at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe; and due 2015 review / renewal of SADC Sexual & Reproductive Health, HIV, Gender & Youth Frameworks – Afri-Dev and Africa MNCH Coalition publish new two SADC scorecards and factsheets underlining:
Despite recent progress – new HIV infections in SADC alone are still astronomically high at an estimated 812,000 a year (maintaining the sub-regions position as epicenter of the global HIV epidemic) – compared to 21,086 infections for overall current Ebola epidemic (even allowing for epidemiological differences) – this makes poor Sexual and Reproductive Health one of the most significant and still unresolved human security and health governance challenges for SADC especially.
[But not just in SADC.
– New HIV infections in Nigeria estimated at 220,000 annually (second only to South Africa globally at 340,000); Uganda at 140,000; Kenya 100,000; and Ethiopia 21,000 – the non-SADC African countries amongst joint top 10 globally with highest new annual HIV infections – demonstrates that African countries collectively need better policy, and domestic investment to improve Sexual and Reproductive Health Education and Services, and reduce new HIV infections.]
Poor Sexual & Reproductive Health is a mass killer: With annual HIV deaths in SADC alone running at an estimated 579,400 – compared to 8,289 deaths for current Ebola Epidemic (even allowing for epidemiological differences) – poor sexual and reproductive health and rights is clearly one of the biggest killers of our times (not counting deaths from maternal mortality including high fertility rate/poor family planning; or cervical cancer etc).
[Again not just in SADC.
– Annual HIV mortality in Nigeria estimated at 210,000 – the highest number in any one single country globally – (ahead of South Africa which is second with 200,000); Uganda at 63,000; Kenya 58,000; and Ethiopia 45,000 – the non-SADC African countries amongst joint top 10 globally with highest annual HIV mortality – demonstrates that African countries collectively need better policy, and domestic investment to improve Sexual and Reproductive Health, and reduce HIV deaths.]
- With an estimated 14.6 million people living with HIV in SADC alone (the highest number in any single sub-region globally) – and roughly equivalent to the populations of either Malawi, Zambia or Zimbabwe – Improved policy and investment in Sexual and Reproductive Health remains fundamental to Universal Health Coverage, Right to Health, and overall Human Development and Security in the sub region.
[Again not just in SADC.
– Estimated numbers of People Living with HIV in Nigeria at 3.2 million (second only to South Africa with 6.3 million); Kenya at 1.6 million; Uganda also 1.6 million; and Ethiopia 790,000 – the non-SADC African countries amongst top 10 globally with highest numbers living with HIV – demonstrate further that collectively African governments have to invest more in both Sexual and Reproductive Health / HIV prevention and treatment.]
- The only 5 countries globally facing Double Jeopardy – of both (1). HIV prevalence of over 10% and (2). Having 1 million or more people living with HIV in each country are in SADC – being South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi. These countries especially must scale up investment in Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights to reduce new infections – including improved treatment investment.
As part of due 2015 review and renewal of SADC frameworks on Sexual and Reproductive & Sexual, HIV Gender, and Youth – Afri-Dev and Africa MNCH Coalition Call on SADC Secretariat and Ministers of Health Conference of January 12th to 15th 2015 in Zimbabwe to:
Commence early multisectoral consultation process across Health, Gender, Youth and Education sectors – inclusive of non-state stakeholders and civil society; work with Ministers of Finance and Economy to fast track investment; and establish Integrated special SRHR focal points at both SADC and country levels.
Call on all non-SADC African countries amongst top ten most affected countries globally (by numbers living with HIV, or HIV mortality) – and amongst fastest growing youth populations (Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda & Ethiopia) – to spearhead East, Horn of Africa, and West Africa multisectoral based reviews of Sexual & Reproductive Health Strategies – to avoid possible double jeopardy of both high prevalence, and astronomically high numbers of people living with HIV.
- Media Statement Incorporating Call for Action to SADC Ministerial Conference, & Research Findings.
- Four Summary Top 10 Ranking Tables on SRH & HIV – from New Scorecards; (Also available online)
*Public / Media Statement: SADC Ministers of Health Conference Zimbabwe, 12th to 15th January 2015.
- Special Call on SADC Ministers of Health Conference, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe 12th to 15th January 2015 – to commence urgent multisectoral consultation process on due 2015 review and renewal of SADC frameworks on Sexual & Reproductive Health, HIV, Gender & Youth – inclusive of non-state stakeholders and civil society.
- And Highlights of Findings from New Scorecards
Speaking to recent scorecards on Universal Health Coverage, Sexual and Reproductive Health, and HIV, in the context of SADC Ministers of Health Conference holding in Zimbabwe from 12th to 15th January 2015, Rotimi Sankore Editor of Afri-Dev.Info stated.
“The new scorecards on Universal Health, Sexual and Reproductive Health, and HIV, and the January 2015 SADC Ministers of Health Conference – provide an opportunity to emphasize that poor policy and investment in Reproductive and Sexual Health is still one of the biggest human security and health governance challenges facing Africa as manifested by the current state of HIV in Africa, and SADC especially.”
“Despite significant progress, the unfortunate fact remains that the ten countries globally with the highest HIV prevalence are in Africa, and nine out of the ten are in SADC – with all of them still at high epidemic levels” – Swaziland 27.4% prevalence; Lesotho 22.9%; Botswana 21.9%; South Africa 19.1%; Zimbabwe 15.0%; Namibia 14.3%; Zambia 12.5%;Mozambique 10.8%; and Malawi 10.3%.
[Note: Uganda is the only non-SADC country amongst top 10 globally with highest HIV prevalence at 7.4%].
“In addition to high prevalence – and in terms of absolute numbers, SADC countries constitute six of the ten countries globally with over 1 million people living with HIV in each country” – South Africa 6.3 million; Mozambique 1.6 million; Tanzania 1.4 million; Zimbabwe 1.4 million; Zambia 1.1 million; Malawi 1 million.”
[Note: The other four countries globally with over 1 million people each living with HIV are Nigeria 3.2 million; India 2.1 million; Kenya 1.6 million; and Uganda 1. 6 million.]
“To put this in context, all of SADC or Southern Africa with a population of less than 300 million (four times less than India’s population of 1.2 billion people) has an estimated 14.6 million people living with HIV – seven times more – than the much less 2.1 million people living with HIV in India. Most Importantly, overall progress depends on rapid reduction in new HIV infections, which in turn requires greatly improved investment in Sexual and Reproductive Health Education and Services. New HIV infections in SADC are currently at an estimated 812,000 annually – and five of the top ten countries globally for highest new annual HIV infections are in SADC – South Africa 340,000, Mozambique 120,000, Tanzania 72,000, Zimbabwe 69,000, and Zambia 54,000.” [Note: Other countries in top 10 globally for highest new annual infections are Nigeria (220,000), Uganda (140,000), India (130,000), Kenya (100,000), and Indonesia (80,000).Alongside this, and reflective of inadequate investment in treatment as prevention – nine of the top ten countries globally with highest annual deaths from HIV are African with 5 from SADC – South Africa (200,000 deaths), Mozambique (82,000), Tanzania (78,000), Zimbabwe (64,000), and Malawi (48,000) – demonstrating that poor Sexual and Reproductive Health and HIV are still amongst the biggest killers in Africa.” Note: Non-SADC countries in joint top 10 globally with most annual HIV deaths are Nigeria (210,000), India (130,000), Uganda (63,000), Kenya (58,000), and Ethiopia (45,000). “Given the dire situation – the due 2015 review and renewal of SADC Sexual and Reproductive Health Frameworks provides a milestone opportunity for SADC Secretariat, and Ministers of Health meeting January 12th to 15th 2015 to reinvigorate regional action, and commence urgent multisectoral consultation for the reviews – inclusive of non-state stakeholders and civil society; and also fast track improved domestic investment in multisectoral action and coordination of Health, Gender, Youth, and Education Sectors.” Comparing the exemplary Ebola preparedness of SADC Ministers and governments to current Sexual and Reproductive Health Response to the HIV epidemic – Sankore emphasised that: “It is not sustainable for any country, sub region or continent to continue indefinitely with epidemic levels of new infections and deaths from any disease. In this case, continued epidemic levels of HIV – is a clear consequence of poor Sexual and Reproductive Health Education and Services, and poor protection of girls and women. He called on SADC Health Ministers and governments to utilise opportunity of the due 2015 reviews to step up the Sexual and Reproductive Health response to HIV, similar to recent multiple inter-ministerial consultations on Ebola stating that – “Not providing optimally funded Universal Access to Sexual and Reproductive Health Education and Services in the midst of a HIV epidemic, is equivalent of not providing Universal Access to Ebola Prevention Information and Services in the midst of a looming or ongoing Ebola epidemic.”