The African Development Bank (AfDB) has announced the approval by its Board of Directors its Strategy for Quality Health Infrastructure in Africa 2022-2030 – a strategy the Bank describes as a historic first.
The Bank in a press release copied to Ghana Business News, notes that a grossly underfunded healthcare system in Africa, needs around $26 billion in annual capital investments, and as part of its health agenda, the AfDB says it has committed to investing $3 billion in the continent’s pharmaceutical industry over 10 years. The Bank also launched a multi-billion dollar COVID-19 Response Facility to support its regional members through the pandemic, it added.
According to the Bank, the strategy was developed in response to a call by its Governors for the institution to define its role in addressing Africa’s health infrastructure deficits, highlighted by the ongoing pandemic.
“The strategy focuses on three categories of health infrastructure that match the African Development Bank’s comparative advantage, providing the flexibility to respond to the diverse needs of the Bank’s African member countries. It will be anchored in national health systems and sets out three cross-cutting themes: improved internet and communications technology connectivity, to strengthen health information systems and support innovation; promoting regional collaboration and harmonizing health policies and regulation; and policy dialogue and technical assistance,” the release said.
Commenting, the President of the Bank, Dr Akinwumi A. Adesina said: “We must give hope to the poor and the vulnerable, by ensuring that every African, regardless of their income level, gets access to quality health care, as well as health insurance and social protection.”
It notes further that the strategy is in line with one of the AfDB’s High 5 strategic priorities, which is improving the quality of life for the people of Africa.
“It also echoes the objectives of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 3 regarding good health and wellbeing, as well as the African Union’s Agenda 2063 plan to transform Africa into a global powerhouse. In addition, it forms part of broader efforts by the African Development Bank to expand access to healthcare on the continent,” the Bank said.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi