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Because We Can! Campaign's
On the 6th and 7th of December 2013, Ministers of Education and Health and their technical representatives from 20 countries in Eastern and Southern Africa met in Cape Town, South Africa to affirm their commitment to strengthening HIV prevention efforts and fostering positive health outcomes through improved access to quality, comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) as well as sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services for young people in the region. This 8 partnership allowed the key Ministries to jointly agree on how best to develop and deliver the information, education and services needed to reverse the HIV and AIDS epidemic, promote healthy lifestyles through CSE as well as related sexual health services. As a result of their deliberations, a new commitment titled; ‘Young People Today, Time To Act Now’ was endorsed to provide a framework for strengthening access to Comprehensive Sexuality Education and Sexual and Reproductive Health Services for young people.
The Continental Policy Framework calls for mainstrea-ming of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in primary health care 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 the health sector thereby improve access to services. By extension the Framework calls for mainstreaming gender issues in socio-economic deve-lopment programmes, 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.