Uhuru tells leaders to avoid 'outside help'
23 September 2014, 17:38
Nairobi -President Uhuru Kenyatta hosted a
high-level meeting at the United Nations headquarters in New York, where he urged
African countries to adopt domestic financing for their health services
instead of waiting for "outside" help.
said Africa was rising economically but the fruits of this
transformation would only be sweet if proper investments were channeled
He said the health sector is as
important as any other sector, such as infrastructure, and Africa should
get its own solutions to keep its people healthy.
have always depended on external help for health services, but we have
to mobilise domestic resources to find our own solution instead of
moving from one crisis to another,” he said.
meeting, whose theme was "Domestic Financing for Health: Invest to
Save", was sponsored by Kenya and the Global Fund to fight Aids,
tuberculosis and malaria.
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President Kenyatta said
governments must take the lead in providing health services and they
should come up with strong systems of public health.
He said the Kenyan Government plans to raise health funding to 15 per cent of the total budget from its current level.
Kenyatta also called on African governments to improve transparency to
attract support and investment in health services.
President was the key speaker and also a panellist at the event. The
other panellists included Dr Lawrence H. Summers (professor and
president emeritus at Harvard University), Dr Agnes Binagwaho (Rwanda’s
health minister), Dr Mark Byul (head of the Global Fund) and Tumusiime
Peace (African Union Commission).
The Cabinet Secretary for Health, James Macharia, also attended the meeting.
Prof Summers said domestic financing for health services was the way to go for Africa and the whole world.
said in the next two decades, all countries are set to achieve a
similar low rate of child mortality if the sustained investment in
health services is maintained.
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President Kenyatta and
Prof Summers both said even though Africa’s rising economic fortunes
mean that it has more resources to spend on health, development partners
should continue working with governments.
“The rise in
Africa’s economic fortunes should never be an excuse for development
partners to stop their support for health services,” said Prof Summers.
He said strong global organizations like the World Health Organisation are necessary to formulate strong global health policies.
meeting was also attended by the prime minister of Ethiopia,
Hailemariam Desalegyn, who also called on African governments to take
the lead initiative in providing health services.
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