Addis Ababa - Nigeria has been elected to chair the new Bureau for the African Union (AU) Conference of Ministers of Health (CAMH6), the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
The conference is a biennial meeting that provides AU Health Ministers the opportunity to review and assess member states' performance in the health sector and suggest new policies targeted at addressing identified areas of challenges.
Nigeria emerged as the chair of the bureau from the West African region at the end of the 6TH Session CAMH6 held between April 25 and April 26 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Other AU member states elected to serve in the Bureau according to the report of the ministerial meeting made available NAN, include Gabon (Central Africa) as first Vice Chairperson and Saharawi Republic (North Africa) as second Vice Chairperson.
Others are Uganda (East Africa) as third Vice Chairperson and Zimbabwe (South Africa) which emerged as the Rapporteur of the Bureau.
The report said that Mrs Petrina Haingura, Namibia’s Health Minister and out-going CAMH5 Bureau Chairperson, thanked the members for the support given to her and the bureau.
"The chair made reference to some of the achievements of the out-going bureau such as the adoption of the Draft Business Plan for Africa, the 2012 Status of Africa MNCH report and Draft Plan of the 2nd AU decade of traditional medicine (2011-2020).
"The Draft African plan toward the elimination of new HIV infection among Children by 2015 as well as keeping their mothers alive.
"The report said that Haingura assured the in-coming bureau of the support of the CAMH5 bureau in ensuring that Africa's health status improves."
Professor Onyebuchi Chuckwu, Nigeria's Health Minister and in-coming chairperson of CAMH6 Bureau, in a statement accepted the responsibility bestowed on the new bureau by the ministers' conference.
Chuckwu commended the out-going bureau for the ``tremendous efforts and contributions to move the health agenda of Africa.’’
He assured the conference of his readiness to complete the work begun by the out-going bureau and keep health high on Africa's development agenda.
NAN reports that Republic of Senegal has offered to host the 7th Ordinary Session of the Conference of AU Ministers of Health on a date to be announced.
The Nigerian delegation also informed the conference that the Nigerian government and AUC would co-host the Abuja +12 Special Summit of the AU Heads of government from July 15 to July 19 to review the progress made on the Abuja commitments.
NAN reports that Health Ministers from more than 40 AU member states attended the conference, with the theme: "The impact of non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) on development in Africa.
Also in attendance at the conference were UN agencies, development partners, civil society organisations and non-governmental organisations.
Others include WHO, UNAIDS, UNICEF, WFP, UNECA, UNFPA, UNDP, IPPF, NEPAD and Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids.