AFRICA URGED TO MOBILISE DOMESTIC RESOURCES FOR HEALTH SECTOR FINANCING

ADDIS ABABA, African countries should mobilize domestic resources and ensure that their health services rely on domestic financing, says the the Secretary-General of the African Federation of Public Health Associations, Dr. Tewabech Bishaw.

She told the Ethiopian News Agency (ENA) here Monday that African countries had to work together in generating their own domestic resources to finance their health services.

All health professionals, through their umbrella organizations and professional associations, should get engaged with the public, politicians, policy-makers, and private sector to mobilize resources and address the problem, she added.

According to Dr Tewabech, there are lots of resources available and the problem in this regard is to know where these resources are and how to tap them. She explained that it does not mean that there is no partnership and there is no working together".

"Yes, indeed there is partnership. There should be partnership, there should be working together in mobilizing available resources.

Zambia's Planning and Development Churches Health Association Advocacy Head Yoram Siame said African countries have to be very careful about what they are spending on and at what time. Their spending should be supported by evidence.

The countries need to ensure that health systems particularly rely on domestic financing and they are much more based on what they are doing to help their needy people, Simae stressed.

According to Siame, there are two main mechanisms which enable the countries to mobilize more domestic resources -- taxation and socio-health insurance.

The Director for Monitoring and Evaluation at Nigeria's Ministry of Health, Dr. Emmanuel Meribole, said the sustainable domestic resource financing system is crucial to have quality health care and reduce the dependence on foreign aid.

African countries have to increase efforts of exploring their domestic resources to finance their health services, he said, adding that the limited resources the countries have at hand have to be utilized at the right place with the right purpose in a strategic manner. �

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK