East African RH Network highlights supplies
9th January 2008
The first of five Project RMA sub-regional meetings to promote awareness of reproductive health (RH) commodity security, engage regional bodies, and facilitate knowledge-sharing was held on December 2-5, 2007 in Kampala, Uganda. This workshop was the result of collaboration among Coalition members DSW, UNFPA, and Partners in Population and Development (PPD) with the East African Reproductive Health Network (EARHN). Convened as a strategic planning meeting for the EARHN, the workshop provided an opportunity for Project RMA to ensure that commodity security was included in a multi-year planning document prepared by government representatives from five East African countries. The workshop also set the stage for subsequent work across Sub-Saharan Africa and with other regional bodies. Speakers included three Ministers from Uganda and two Ugandan Members of Parliament. Workshop participants were drawn from Ghana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, IPPF Africa Region, UNFPA, SADC Parliamentarians Forum, the East African Community, the African Union, as well as from Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, and Ethiopia. Coalition members Terri Bartlett (PAI), Jennifer Johnson (PAI), Steve Kinzett (Secretariat), and Carolyn Vogel (PAI) attended the meeting and gave support to organizer Pam Foster (DSW).
Membership of the EARHN is made up of line ministries from East African countries, and the network was launched by PPD more than a decade ago to ensure both political will for RH issues and a mechanism for implementing RH policies, frameworks, and other agreements. It is a significant achievement for RH commodity security advocacy that the network has fully taken on board the importance of promoting commodity security.
The next sub-regional workshop is being planned for West Africa (first quarter 2008) and initial discussions are underway for locations and partners for future work in Southern Africa, South Asia, and South East Asia. For further information, contact programme organizer Pam Foster of DSW.