Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan and other African leaders have admitted failure in achieving the 2015 target set by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for a pushback against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
They reached this consensus on Today at the conclusion of the two-day Abuja+12 Special Summit of the African Union (AU) on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, tagged: “Ownership, Accountability and Sustainability of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Response in Africa: Past, Present and the Future”.
The leaders resolved that while the progress achieved so far should be sustained, the continent would have to look beyond 2015 to eradicate the diseases.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon had at the commencement of the summit on Monday expressed fear over the possibility of African countries achieving the MDGs targets by 2015, saying with a thousand days to the deadline, many of them were yet to achieve the larger part of the goals.
Ki-Moon, who was represented by the UN Population Fund Executive Director Professor Babatunde Osotimehin, called for renewed leadership and increased domestic and international funding including new investment in improved tests and drugs as well as stronger health services to make the goals achievable
Addressing journalists at the end of the summit, President Goodluck Jonathan, AU chairman and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and the African Union Commission chairperson, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, assured on sustained efforts towards sustained eradicating the diseases which, according to them, have impeded the continent’s growth.
Jonathan affirmed that achieving the MDGs goals goes beyond 2015, saying he and his colleagues had decided to consider a sustainable development that would make them succeed in the fight against the three diseases.
Desalegn lamented that there were numerous challenges despite the progress already made in the fight against the diseases, expressing optimism however that those challenges would be surmounted by strong political will and commitment.
Also speaking, Dlamini equally disclosed that the continent was looking beyond the 2015 target, adding that a committee chaired by Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf had been raised to come up with a position to be used for negotiation at the next meeting of the MDGs