Macroeconomics and Health (CMH)

MacroHealth Newsletter


COUNTRY ACTION

This issue focuses on recent MacroHealth activities in Africa and the Americas bearing in mind that all regions are actively pursuing the MacroHealth agenda.

WHO'S REGIONAL OFFICE FOR AFRICA SUPPORTS THE MACROHEALTH APPROACH

The Regional Office for Africa has discussed the CMH-findings and the report will be debated in this year's Regional Committee meeting to be held in South Africa. The Regional Office has prepared a draft document entitled 'Macroeconomics and Health: The way forward in the African Region' aimed at sensitizing senior policy-makers in Africa on the relationship between health and economic development, while simultaneously providing guidance on how CMH recommendations can be taken forward at country level.

ETHIOPIA DISCUSSES THE BENEFITS OF MACROHEALTH

A recent mission to Ethiopia by WHO and the CMH Columbia team examined how WHO and partners could initiate the CMH follow-up process jointly with the Government. Given the successful institutional coordination under the Health Sector Development Programme, the authorities welcomed a MacroHealth approach and suggested that a Macroeconomics and Health technical group be established under the Ministry of Health and the country's Central Joint Steering Committee. The proposed CMH technical group will work together to support the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSP) and the decentralisation process within the health sector.

GHANA CMH UNDERWAY

A high profile CMH launch event to inaugurate the Ghana National Macroeconomics and Health Initiative (GMH) was held in Accra on 19 November, 2002 with the participation of President H.A. Kuffour of the Republic of Ghana. The event was attended by high-ranking officials from different ministries. A committee has already been set up at national level to carry forward the GMH and to assess the Ghana PRSP in the light of the CMH recommendations. Ghana is focusing on three main issues: developing health insurance, improving access to water supplies in rural areas and sanitation in urban areas, and supporting human resources capacity in village level health care. The GMH at the end of its mandate will produce a report entitled 'Investing in Health and Macroeconomic Development in Ghana' that will be used to facilitate the revision of the health-related interventions in the Ghana PRSP.

MACROECONOMICS AND HEALTH PROGRESS IN THE AMERICAS REGION

The Pan American Health Organization as part of MacroHealth Plan of Action has been developing macroeconomic and health activities in the region. At a meeting co-organized with the American Development Bank on 3-4 October 2002 the CMH report was presented to groups of policy-makers, academics and researchers from the Americas and the Caribbean. In Mexico, the Mexican Commission on Macroeconomics and Health established under Secretary of Health Julio Frenk and presided by CMH Commissioner Nora Lustig, will study the relationship between health and development in Mexico, challenge previous beliefs that peoples' health can improve automatically with economic growth, and develop priority actions that link national economic and health policies. For more information on Mexico's national CMH, visit the CMH website: http://www.salud.gob.mx/

MORE COUNTRY UPDATES IN THE NEXT ISSUE OF THE CMH NEWSLETTER

THE CARIBBEAN ADOPTS A MACROHEALTH APPROACH

The Caribbean Commission for Health and Development is in the process of being established and will be charged with the responsibility of providing guidelines for action on health matters for the fifteen member Caribbean Community. In February 2003, an inaugural meeting will be held to develop the agenda and schedule the Commission's programme of work. It is envisaged that the Commission's findings will be of great value to the process of health reform and, in particular, in providing guidance to the region on priorities for health financing including public/private partnerships and the sharing of services.

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