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WHO urges African nations to increase resources for health sector

The World Health Organization (WHO) has urged African states to increase the use of domestic resources for funding their health sectors.

Director for Health Systems and Services Cluster of WHO Regional Office for Africa, Delanyo Dovlo, said that on average a majority of African countries fund 60 to 70 percent of their health needs from domestic resources.

"In order to gain sustainability and resilience in their health systems, African states must be able to rely more and more on domestic resources for health in the same way developed countries have managed," Dovlo said during a civil society forum on Africa's health in Nairobi.

Dovlo said that the use of foreign funds for health needs is "not bad but makes the country vulnerable to external shocks that could affect delivery of health services".

He urged the continent to be more innovative in ways that they can generate resources for the health sector.

"Some developed countries have introduced taxes on travel or on alcohol and tobacco in order to fund health programs," he said.

In 2001, African states came up with the Abuja Declaration that calls for governments to devote at least 15 percent of their budgets to the health sector.

However, Dovlo said: "So far only six countries have at one time or another achieved the goal while only four have managed the goal on a consistent basis."

Source: Xinhua

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