25th August, 2010
The former Minister of Health, Professor Babatunde Osotimehin has been named as the African Spokesperson for the WHOâ€™s Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH).
The Partnership is an organ of the WHO whose mission is to support the global health community to work successfully towards achieving MDGs 4 and 5, by enhancing Partnersâ€™ interaction and using their comparative advantages to arrive at its vision of a world where all women and children receive the care they need to live healthy, productive lives.
Professor Osotimehinâ€™s appointment is coming at a time the theme of this yearâ€™s African Union Summit of Heads of States is “Maternal, Infant and Child Health and Development”.
Added to this is the fact that the UN MDG Summit is taking place this year, based on which the United Nations Secretary General has launched a campaign to improve the health of women and children globally.
In this position, Professor Osotimehin is expected among others to deploy his strong technical expertise in health and strong understanding of national and regional political environment to advocate at various venues for health commitments and to undertake one on one sessions to bring policy makers into the maternal and child health process.
To do this, he is expected to speak at various events and advocate with Heads of States, First Ladies, Parliamentarians and relevant Ministers for increased commitment.
Given his experience in policy making, implementation of national health plans, good understanding of the United Nations system and the global development arena, Professor Osotimehin as the African Spokesperson for PMNCH will also be providing leadership for the â€˜Africa Advocacy Strategyâ€™ which is centered on the development of the Africa Investment Case and the Joint Action Plan, which is expected to yield financial commitments, primarily from national governments.
He is thus expected to be in the driving seat of the Maternal and Newborn Child Health Campaign in Africa to target among others, the African Union Summit, UN Foundation, African First Ladies Meeting, AU Joint Finance and Health Ministerial Conference, 2011 Review of Abuja Targets, AU/WHO/AfDB Conferences of Ministers, Sub-Regional meetings of key Stakeholders and the UN MDG Summit