Macroeconomics and Health (CMH)

MacroHealth Newsletter

No. 5 July 2003


Meetings to facilitate CMH implementation in Africa and South-East Asia

WHO’s African Regional Office and HQ will convene a meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 3 – 9 August 2003 to support 12 countries of the region in developing, implementing and monitoring MHS investment plans for expanding coverage of essential public health services and health-related interventions. Host country Ethiopia, along with Ghana, will present experiences and progress in initiating an MHS strategic process. The objectives of the meeting are:
1. Review of CMH follow-up plans at country level and presentation of progress;
2. Adaptation of the global CMH framework to priority needs in the African Region and development of suitable monitoring indicators;
3. Development of country strategic plans of action and review of expected support from WHO;
4. Discussion on participation in the Consultation on Increasing Investments in Health Outcomes for the Poor in October of this year.

The South East Asia Region is planning a similar inter-country Consultation in August to organize CMH follow-up work for the Region. Eight countries will participate.

Advocacy and communications workshops planned

In response to regional and country requests, an Advocacy and Communications workshop on “Investing in the Health of the Poor” will be organized in several regions during 2003-2004. Each workshop, taking into account country-specific components, will examine how to win the support of key constituencies in order to influence pro-poor policies and spending in health. It will recommend approaches, messages and products to support the concept that increased investment in health, particularly for the poor, is urgently needed if the MDGs are to be met.

Adapting the CMH framework to the Eastern Mediterranean Region

Representatives from seven countries of the Eastern Mediterranean region met on 13 and 14 June in Fez, Morocco to discuss how to adapt the global CMH framework to the priority needs of Eastern Mediterranean countries. They also reviewed progress made by national teams on CMH implementation and defined the expected support from WHO. The meeting was attended by Djibouti, Islamic Republic of Iran, Jordan, Pakistan, Sudan, Yemen and Oman.

Country and regional participants emphasized that the process to develop the Macroeconomics and Health Strategy (MHS) and health investment plans must generate cross-sectoral as well as donor confidence. They felt this is achievable only if the Macroeconomics and Health process, plans and products are fully integrated into existing national poverty reduction schemes. A successful MHS will be based on good governance and a solid government commitment to reallocate national budgets and seek additional resources for health, and it will integrate strong supervision and clear outcome tracking. Moreover, plans must realistically address known constraints and offer practical steps to remove them. Finally, MHS investment plans should show a coherent path towards national achievement of the MDGs.

CMH work in the Americas

Following a change in senior leadership, the Regional Office for the Americas has been redefining the best mechanisms for country follow-up work. A dialogue is continuing over the type of sustainable development and poverty-reduction mechanisms currently operating in the region. The Regional Office is planning to participate in the upcoming October Consultation on Increasing Investments in Health Outcomes for the Poor. Additionally, it is assessing which countries are best placed to pursue the CMH process and helping to define what country support can be best provided through regional versus global mechanisms.