ETHIOPIA—The African Union’s Heads of State and Government, as well as the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), have attended the Africa CDC’s second High-level Ministers of Health meeting, MELP 2024.

This is the second annual ministerial high-level forum for health ministers from African Union Member States to be conducted in Africa.

This forum, conducted on the sidelines of the Assembly’s 37th Ordinary Session in Addis Ababa, is intended to increase participants’ knowledge and awareness while also building a collaborative commitment to transformative and sustainable healthcare solutions in Africa.

MELP is an African-led and African-owned programme that is tailored to Africa’s requirements based on input from previous and current Ministers of Health.

This forum builds on the success of the initial ministerial retreat in Zambia in 2023, which was structured around the topic “Impactful Leadership in Health: A Whole of Government Approach.”

The forum focused on essential problems and methods for strengthening health systems, improving health outcomes, bolstering health security, and promoting local vaccine manufacturing.

It also stressed the importance of individualized solutions while also identifying and sharing best practices in healthcare service, emergency preparedness, and response, with a particular emphasis on local adaptation.

During the session, H.E. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, former Chairperson of the African Union Commission, delivered a message of solidarity that emphasized collective action and support for the MELP’s objectives.

She went on to emphasize the significance of investing in disease prevention and supporting key health programs through a whole-of-government approach. “A unified Africa is a powerful Africa.

On his part, H.E. Dr. Jean Kaseya, Director General of the Africa CDC, stated that this forum accelerates their efforts to improve the leadership abilities of health ministers.

He went on to explain that by driving progress and harnessing the power of innovation, embracing evidence-based solutions, and encouraging collaboration across actors and sectors, they can generate significant change and enhance health outcomes for all.

The health ministers discussed ways to increase relationships and collaboration among their peers, stakeholders, and development partners.

This collaborative initiative seeks to coordinate actions and mobilize resources for long-term health development.

Ministers also indicated a stronger commitment to attaining local vaccine manufacture, gender equality, universal health coverage, tackling health inequities, and promoting health security in Africa, with a focus on regional leadership and ownership.

Gender equality debates focused on improving mother and child health as well as pushing for women’s and girls’ sexual and reproductive rights.

As a result, the continent will not only safeguard its people’s fundamental rights, but will also provide the framework for Africa’s long-term development and prosperity.

Another significant subject was “Delivering through Technology: Shaping the Future of Leadership in the Digital Age,” which emphasized that the digital revolution offers unprecedented opportunity to change healthcare delivery in Africa.

 The potential for digital health solutions is enormous, and it is our obligation to use these technologies to eliminate barriers to health access and quality.

The ministers displayed their abilities and commitment to reducing health disparities and ensuring health security in Africa.

This commitment prioritizes local ownership and leadership, opening the stage for significant advances in healthcare across the continent.

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