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

Current health investment in Africa

According to the 2010 health financing scorecard created by the Africa Public Health Alliance and 15%+ Campaign, only six countries, Rwanda, 18.8%, Botswana, 17.8%, Niger, 17.8%, Malawi, 17.1%, Zambia, 16.4% and Burkina Faso, 15.8% are spending at least 15% of their national budgets on health .

Additionally, 32 out of 53 AU member states invest less than half of WHO recommended $40 per person. 11 of these countries are invest a mere $5 or less per capita.

Rotimi Sankore, the coordinator of the Africa Public Health Alliance and 15+ Campaign, notes that “currently health financing trends on the continent are worrisome.

He says: “Even in many countries where per capita investment is higher, performance is poor because of inadequate investment in key social determinants such as clean water and in some countries where percentage based on spending is high, actual per capita investment is low.”

While it is crucial for health investment to increase, officials say it is important to ensure that this increase is efficient and anchored on evidence based health planning accompanied by equally important investments in the social determinants of health. “Without clean water and sanitation among others, efforts to improve health are compromised,” says Sankore.