African countries can save over $2b on health spending – UNFPA

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has indicated that Africa countries can save over $2 billion if governments integrate health interventions by meeting the demands of people.

According to Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin , Executive Director  of UNFPA, effective family planning, providing antenatal care and  immunization,  accountability and transparency in the allocation and utilization of resources are key interventions that could cut considerable costs to health systems.

“Introducing effective family planning and meeting the needs of people can cut the cost of providing health by around $2.5 billion in Africa”, Dr. Osotimehin said.

He was speaking to African ministers of finance in a panel discussion which was part of the 4th Joint Annual Meetings of both the African Union and Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) Conference of Ministers of Economy and Finance in Addis Ababa.

He also said primary health care should be the focus of attention across the continent.

He therefore urged African leaders to invest in the health sector since it is one of the pillars of growth.

In a related development, the World Health Organisation (WHO) in a report titled “The Abuja Declaration: Ten Years On” says in April 2001, African Union countries met in Abuja, Nigeria, and pledged to increase government funding for health to at least 15%.

According to the WHO, only two African countries (Rwanda and South Africa) have met that target.


By Ekow Quandzie

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