The Maputo Plan of Action as a Government Commitment

As a result of the state of SRHR in Africa, various governments, regional economic communities such as the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union Commission (AUC) responded to the call to act with the development of policy on SRHR, not least of which was the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in 1994. In 2005 the African Union Conference of Ministers of Health adopted the Continental Policy Framework on Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and in 2006 adopted the Maputo Plan of Action for its implementation.

The Maputo Plan of Action for the Operationalisation of the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Continental Policy Framework, commonly known as the Maputo Plan of Action (MPOA) or Maputo Plan, aims to achieve universal SRHR in Africa by 2015. It was a “short term plan for the period up to 2010 built on nine action areas: Integration of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services in primary health care (PHC), repositioning family planning, youth-friendly services, unsafe abortion, quality safe motherhood, resource mobilization, commodity security and monitoring and evaluation.”iii

The key elements of the MPOA were:

1. Integrating STI/HIV/AIDS, and SRHR programmes and services,
2. Repositioning family planning as an essential part of achieving the health Millennium Development Goals (MDGs);
3. Addressing the sexual and reproductive health needs of adolescents and youth as a key SRHR component;
4. Addressing the issue of unsafe abortion;
5. Delivering quality and affordable services in order to promote Safe Motherhood, child survival, maternal, new-born and child health; and
6. Strengthening African and south-south co-operation for the attainment of ICPD and MDG Goals in Africa.

In order to assess member states’ progress in implementing this plan, the AUC administered a Progress Assessment Tool (PAT) – a questionnaire completed in 2010 for a 5 year review of the Maputo Plan of Action. At their 15th Session, the AU Assembly requested the AUC to develop (and align with MDGs 4 and 5) a set of indicators for monitoring and reporting on the MPOA. The AUC has gone through a rigorous process of developing and piloting the indicators.

The MPOA Progress Assessment Tool (PAT)

In the 2010 round of reporting the following groups of indicators were used to gather data from countries.

1. Integration of HIV/STI, Malaria and SRH Services into PHC
2. Strengthening of Community based STI/HIV/AIDS and SRHR Services
3. Family Planning repositioning as key strategy for attainment of MDGs
4. Youth-friendly SRHR services positioned as key strategy for youth empowerment, development and well being
5. Incidence of unsafe abortion reduced
6. Access to safe motherhood and child survival services increased
7. Resources for SRHR increased
8. SRH Commodity security strategies for all SRH components achieved
9. Monitoring, evaluation and coordination mechanism
10. Lessons learned
11. Country Profile

Overall 37 numerical data points and additional 101 data points of comments, challenges and recommendations were included in the 2010 round of reporting in the PAT.

Recent developments in PATS

In 2011 and 2012 the AUC has changed the indicators of the PAT and re-aligned them with the MDG indicators, as a means to avoiding duplication of reporting. These new PATS are currently being piloted in 7 African countries across the continent but budget and human resource constraints as well as capacity in country have played significant roles as barriers to the completion of this process. AAI is currently in discussions with the AUC with regard to how we can support this process.