World Bank Touches on Africa’s Health Investment

World Bank, Health, Africa, Khama Rogo

Many African countries are not offering services to their citizens as expected. This has led to poor investment according to the World Bank’s Lead Health Sector Specialist and Head Health in Africa Initiative, Khama Rogo. He said that the whole health spending per capita in the countries is below 5% of sub-Saharan Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). There is a need for the African governments to do away with inefficiencies. They should rather take in smart procurement and smart financing. This will help them to get the Universal Health Cover (UHC).

African countries are better placed to be economically stable. This is only in case they invest in health care. Countries like Mexico, Thailand, China, and Cuba have made significant achievement in UHC. They have achieved this by incorporating subsidies in their budget. African countries should borrow from such countries. The African expenditure in public health is 22%. This is lower as compared to the Low and Middle-Income Countries which is at 36%. The expenditure for upper-middle-income countries is at 57%.

Once the continent invests well in the sector they will create more jobs. Furthermore, they will reduce the mortality rates by 11%. For instance, Kenya is in a position of achieving the UHC because of the political will. But it must take in entrepreneurship and innovation through both public and private partnership. For better financing of public health, there should be a systematic and stronger public management. Furthermore, there should be transparency in the sector.

The country should use mixed revenues by taking both private and public revenue. Furthermore, it should put more emphasis on the collection of local resources. Development of Community Health Services is hindered by lack of Community Health Extension Workers. Extension health workers are important health sector players. They are required to support and supervise the community level health working team. The team must be available throughout the country. This is according to the Chancellor of Moi University in Kenya, Miriam Were. The only way through which Kenya can meet the UHC is by majoring in promoting health and preventing the spread of diseases. This will help in reducing the burden incurred from diseases. Therefore it will reduce the cost incurred by the health sector.


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Written by Denis Opudo

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