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IHP+ and HHA Inter-Regional Country Health Sector Teams' Meeting (Lusaka, 28 Feb - 1 March 2008)

The International Health Partnership and related initiatives (IHP+),  in collaboration with Harmonization for Health in Africa (HHA) held an inter-regional meeting for health sector teams from 28 February to 1 March 2008 in Lusaka, Zambia.

Background
In Africa, the twin effect of poverty and low investment in health has led to an increasing burden of diseases notably HIV/AIDS, malaria, TB, high maternal and child mortality and morbidity, and non-communicable diseases. This is challenging the achievement of the health Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the region.

To support African countries, most health partners agree that multilateral and bilateral assistance will remain an important source of funding to health development for a long while. All the leading development agencies, including UNICEF through its child survival initiatives, have expressed their commitment to strengthening partnerships for scaling up essential services such as HIV/AIDS, TB, Malaria, maternal and child health and health systems strengthening, and tackling the determinants of health.

Together with the African Development Bank (AfDB), UNAIDS, UNFPA, WHO and the World Bank, UNICEF has developed an Action Framework for 'tackling the barriers to scaling up in health' through a mechanism known as the Harmonization for Health in Africa (HHA). Today, in the context of new global initiatives for strengthening the health systems, such as International Health Partnership (IHP), the Catalytic Initiative and the Global Campaign for Health MDG, the HHA mechanism is consolidating itself as the operational and capacity building support modality to countries and development partners to facilitate: (i) evidence- and country-based planning, costing and budgeting for health outcomes: (ii) alignment to country processes and harmonization; and (iii) systems bottleneck analysis and support to overcome them.

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