Next week I have the privilege of joining some pretty amazing women at “Leadership for Health: Africa First Ladies Health Summit” in Los Angeles. The event is a two-day conference focused on professional leadership development, education, and awareness-raising, with discussions on the topics of maternal health, girls' education, and HIV/AIDS. Twenty-two African first ladies will attend the event, and I’m ready to talk their ears off about Women Deliver and the need to prioritize maternal health.
It is a simple truth: The Millennium Development Goals will not be achieved in Africa without addressing sexual and reproductive health. In 2006, the African Union signed The Maputo Plan of Action and committed to working toward its implementation. But it is time to revisit the Maputo Plan of Action, to recognize the progress that has been made, and to get the world on board. I’m hoping that I can get this important message across to the 22 African First Ladies, who can then take the call to action home to their countries. Keep checking back during the week, and I’ll keep you updated on the event.
Jill Sheffield is the founder and Executive Coordinator of Women Deliver.