Africa: agency

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Diarrhoea is the biggest killer of children under five in Africa and the continent leaders should ensure that sanitation and water are an integral part of national health strategies and are adequately resourced, a global aid agency said on Thursday.

The charity, WaterAid, said the African leaders at this week’s AU summit in Uganda should ensure that at least 0.5 percent of their respective GDPs are allocated to sanitation, as committed to in the eThekwini Declaration on Sanitation (2008).

In a statement issued in Nairobi, the agency expressed fears that the biggest killer of children under five in Africa is in danger of being entirely overlooked at this week’s African Union summit in Uganda.

“If African leaders are serious about tackling child deaths across our continent, they must tackle diarrhoea, the biggest killer of our children,” Yunia Musaazi, WaterAid’s policy advisor in East Africa said.

The charity called on African ministers to ensure that monitoring of progress on maternal, newborn and child health includes the MDG 7 targets on sanitation and water, alongside MDGs 4 and 5 on child and maternal mortality.
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