The realization of resilient and sustainable health systems in Africa will be hinged on the deliberate shift from over-reliance on donor support to domestic financing, experts said at a virtual forum in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi Thursday.
Rose Oronje, head of Kenya Office at African Institute for Development Policy, a Nairobi-based public policy think tank, said that mobilizing resources from the local private sector, pension funds and philanthropies is key to bridging the health funding gap and taming the continent’s growing disease burden.
“Domestic health financing will not only deliver universal health coverage in Africa but also strengthen action on emerging diseases that have undermined the continent’s growth,” Oronje said.
Convened by African Institute for Development Policy, the day-long Policy Dialogue on Domestic Health Financing brought on board senior policymakers, researchers, and campaigners to discuss innovative ways to tackle under-investments in Africa’s primary healthcare services.
She called on governments to design policies that promote private sector investments in preventive and curative healthcare services targeting vulnerable groups like women and children.
Regina Ombam, a senior officer at the East African Community’s Health Program, said that African countries should leverage political goodwill, policy reforms, and strategic engagement with industry and donors in their quest for realizing sustainable health financing.
She urged governments to strengthen oversight and monitoring of funds allocated to the health sector in order to ensure communities grappling with a high disease burden have access to diagnostics and treatment. Enditem