- On February 26, 2022
Ghana is ranked the best performing West African Country in terms of priority spending on healthcare to achieve Universal Health Coverage. Cape Verde and Burkina Faso makes up the top 3 in the sub-region. This was made known by Ghana’s Health Minister and Chairperson of the Assembly of Health Ministers in West Africa, Kwaku Agyeman Manu at the closing ceremony of the High-Level ECOWAS Universal Health Coverage Summit and Extraordinary Assembly of Health Ministers for the adoption of WAHO Vision 2030 in Accra.
Mr. Agyeman Manu admitted that despite leading the way, Ghana falls short of the cutoff point for the health priority index. This means no West African country exceeded the minimum 15 percent of Health priority index on governments’
Spending on healthcare from domestic sources. Governments are not honoring pledges made in Abuja s Declaration.
The Abuja Declaration signifies a political commitment by African Countries to allocate at least 15 percent of the national budgets. These pledges were scrutinized at the maiden edition of the Assembly of Health Ministers of ECOWAS in Accra. The objective is to strengthen Africa’s health systems and ensure their preparedness for disease outbreaks. More than 2 decades after the Abuja Declaration calls for a review.
27 African countries had increased the proportion of their expenditure allocated to health during the period under review. Only two countries Rwanda and South Africa had reached the 15% target. Seven others reduced their health budgets as a proportion of their national budgets. the situation had deteriorated by 2016, as 19 African countries were spending less on health as a percentage compared to the early 2000s. Ghana’s Health Minister Kwaku Agyeman Manu spoke about the situation among West African countries.
“Data on priority in the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global Health Expenditure Database across the 15 West African States were accessed and analyzed. It emerged that no West African country beats the cutoff of a minimum 15% health priority index with Ghana (8.43%). Cape Verde (8.2 9%) and Burkina Faso (7.50%) emerging as the top 3 countries with the highest average health priority index.”
He went on to say that “West African governments and relevant stakeholders must prioritize health in their political agenda towards achieving UHC ……there is the need to increase budgetary allocations as declared in the Abuja Declaration to devote at least 15% of the national budget to health in order to sustain the implementation of our mandates as a health sector.”
Director-General of West Africa Health Organization, WAHO Prof Stanley Okolo called on African countries to “double their budgetary allocation to health”.
Final deliberations on the West African Health Organization, WAHO Strategic plan-Vision 2030 were made before it was adopted.
Source: GBCGhanaOnline.com | 25 Feb. 2022