By Elias Hakizimana
Civil Society Organizations have called African countries to increase political will and leadership by investing at least 5 per cent of GDP to health so as to make universal health care a reality in Africa.
The statement that was issued on Saturday week end during the meeting ahead of the Africa Health Agenda International conference to take place from 5th to 7th March in Kigali.
The health advocates are Rwanda NGO forum on HIV/AIDS and Health promotion in collaboration with Global Fund Development Initiative.
The statement calling to increase sustainable domestic financing to health was founded on the facts that after 18 years having issued Abuja declaration to allocate at least 15 % of governments budget to health sector, only two of 55 AU countries have met the target.
Rwanda has already met the target up to 17 per cent of national budget allocated to health sector.
We are concerned that the commitment by our governments to increase domestic financing for health to 5 per cent of GDP has not yet been met,” the advocates said.
The experts noted that ending HIV’AIDS, malaria and TB will require sustainable domestic financing especially for the most affected people.
Governments have been urged to increase contributions to 6th Global Fund Replenishment and increase investments in primary health care.
Global Fund’s six replenishment cycle is mobilizing over $14 billion for the next three years starting in 2020 and $46 billion from domestic resources to 2020 to end HIV/Aids ,Tuberculosis and malaria by 2030.
Under Abuja Declaration in 2001 on ending HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria, African Heads of states committed to take all necessary measures to ensure that the needed resources for universal health care are made available from different sources and that they are effectively utilized.
Dr Diane Gashumba, the Minister of health in Rwanda said that community health insurance-Mutuelle De Sante is the main driver of universal health coverage in Rwanda considering that government pays the insurance for 16 per cent of population who are poor.
She said that more efforts are needed in prevention of diseases to reduce the cost of health care and losses incurred by patients.
More than 100 million people fall into poverty each year due to out of pocket health expenses.
She that Rwanda is working hard so as to establish health posts on every cell to reduce the journey made from seeking health services from walking50 minutes to 25 minutes.
Linda Mafu is the head of Civil Society and Political Advocacy at the Global Fund said that Rwanda is champion in increasing domestic resources to health sector saying that Rwanda’s case is huge example in terms of other African countries.
“ The performance of Rwanda around Global Fund support is quite appreciated. It is really focusing on investing in high health interventions to save lives.The leadership from Rwanda investing in saving lives of people through universal health coverage is highly appreciated. Rwanda is one of examples we can really learn from, “she said.
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