PMNCH/Africa Public Health Alliance press release: African health financing

Quotes of note

At a special parallel session for health and finance ministers, African Union Commissioner for Social Affairs, Bience Gawanas stated that “Africa’s wealth is its people… Human development is a crucial component of economic growth and development, and we must invest in the health of our populations”.

During the session, UNAIDS, Executive Secretary, Michel Sidibe also noted that “95% of Africans receiving treatment for HIV/AIDS on the continent are receiving those treatments because of donor support. It is important for Africa to increase its investments in health to ensure that we able to care for our own, especially now in light of the financial crises and other constraints faced by donor countries.”

Professor Babatunde Osotimehin, UNFPA Executive Director encouraged ministers to invest in women and girls. He noted that “introducing effective family planning and meeting the needs of the people can cut the cost of providing health by around $2.5 billion in Africa.” He also pointed out the importance of country leadership in ensuring that donor support is in line with country priorities. He highlighted the need to widen the range of stakeholders involved in health issues, including members of parliament.

Ghana’s Deputy Health Minister, Robert Joseph Mettle Nunoo said, “Our first challenge is a need for multilateral policy dialogue at national and regional levels. We all need to have the same priorities.”

The Minister of Finance of Cameroon, Essimi Menye Lazare noted that “while we recognize the importance of investing in health, we must ensure that health spending is efficient. To this end institutions have a role to play in promoting regional capacity to produce drugs and commodities and/or reducing the price of commodities to countries by facilitating economies of scale and increasing bargaining power.”