Sexual Health and Reproductive Rights: Continental Policy Framework for Africa
This Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Continental Policy Framework was developed by in response to the call for the reduction of maternal and infant morbidity and mortality in the African continent. It was developed by the African Union Commission in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund, the African Regional Office of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, and other development partners. It started with the conducting of studies in the six Regions of the African Union and consideration of the issues that were identified at the review meetings at Expert and Ministerial levels in each of these Regions as the major factors contributing to the unnecessary deaths of women and children on the continent. The Continental Policy Framework calls for mainstreaming of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in primary health care so as to accelerate the achievement of health-related MDGs. It addresses the commonest causes of maternal and newborn child morbidity and mortality, and identifies the implementation of the Roadmap for the Acceleration of the Reduction of Maternal and Newborn Child morbidity and mortality as the strategy for improving reproductive health. The Policy Framework also calls for strengthening of the health sector component in Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers, and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in particular; by implementing the Abuja recommendation of the 2001 Summit of Heads of State and Government to increase resources to health sector thereby improve access to services. By extension the Framework calls for mainstreaming gender issues in socio-economic development programs, by facilitating improved women’s health thereby increasing their participation in national economic development. It also calls for the development of SRH Commodity Security by including SRH commodities in the Essential Drug Lists and thereby ensures that women do not die needlessly because of lack of basic medicines.