Ten-year Strategic Action Plan and other resources from IMCHE3 now available

Libreville, Gabon, November 2018

The Third Interministerial Conference on Health and Environment in Africa (IMCHE3) took place from 6-9 November 2018 in Libreville, Gabon. Building on the progress recorded and valuable lessons learnt since the first such meeting held in Libreville in 2008, the aim of the conference was to serve as a platform for countries to unite and reaffirm high-level commitments to working at the intersection between environment and health. This meeting produced a number of outputs including the Strategic Action Plan To Scale Up Health And Environment Interventions In Africa 2019 –2029. This and many other technical and communication resources are now available for download on this site.

IMCHE3 was an opportunity for Ministers to reflect on and share their countries’ progress and challenges encountered since the Libreville Declaration on Health and Environment in Africa was first adopted in 2008. The Declaration serves as an effective umbrella framework on which African countries and their development partners can build for addressing environmental determinants on human health and ecosystems.

Ministers and stakeholders during IMCHE3 agreed that tackling issues in these sectors has to be achieved in an integrated manner. It is in this spirit that the Strategic Action Plan to Scale Up Health and Environment Interventions in Africa 2019 – 2029 was adopted. The plan is a step towards a clearer, more widely shared roadmap for countries to improve their intersectoral efforts for realizing the goals laid out in the Libreville Declaration and contributing to the achievement of the SDGs.

The Strategic Action Plan outlines the following key objectives that were agreed on by the member states:

  • To reduce the burden of disease attributable to environmental determinants through safe, sustainable and health-enhancing human environments
  • To harness the potential of the Libreville Declaration by operationalizing the Health and Environment Strategic Alliance at national and international levels
  • To mainstream the outcomes and impacts of the Libreville Declaration by integrating health and environment priority actions into national development policies.

To achieve these objectives, the following priority interventions were outlined:

  • Strengthening the legal and policy framework and institutional mechanisms for integrated environment and health interventions
  • Building infrastructural, technical and institutional capacities of national experts operating in relevant sectors such as water, energy, chemicals and waste, climate change, etc. on the use of environmental and health information and data management
  • Establishing integrated health and environment surveillance systems to track trends in indicators that focus on the environmental risk factors most relevant to health, health outcomes most influenced by the environment, and policy action deemed to reduce and prevent the risks
  • Shaping research agendas and generating adequate funding to advance them
  • Raising awareness and undertaking social mobilization through community engagement and reinforcing existing community systems for leadership and stewardship roles.

In addition to this, a Framework for Scaling Up Investments in Priority Health and Environment Interventions was also prepared following the conference, to address the various financial challenges raised by the countries.

Visit the Resources page or click on the links below to access this and other outcome papers and resources prepared as a result of IMCHE3:

IMCHE3 advocacy film: A call to action for decision makers in Africa to integrate health and environment in national activities and action plans