ZAMBIA CALLS FOR INCREASED DOMESTIC FINANCING FOR THE HEALTH SECTOR ACROSS AFRICA
Addis Ababa-9th February 2019
President Edgar Lungu has called for robust and innovative financing mechanisms to drive the agenda for Universal Health Coverage in Africa. President Lungu has also called on governments to increase domestic funding for the health sector, while at the same time cultivating healthcare partnerships with multilateral institutions and the private sector.
He emphasized that human capital development would ultimately culminate in sustainable economic and social development. He said it was imperative that Africa developed resilient health systems capable of delivering Universal Health Coverage using an integrated primary health care approach.
In a speech read by Zambia’s Minister of Health, Dr.Chitalu Chilufya, President Lungu stated that he was an ardent advocate for Universal Health Coverage. Dr. Chilufya was speaking at the Joint Africa Leadership Meeting on the margins of the 32nd Ordinary Session of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. President Lungu said Zambia was determined to increase domestic allocation to the health sector to meet the requirements of the Abuja Declaration. He said it is imperative that access to quality and affordable health care is provided to citizens to foster an environment suitable for national development. President Lungu said Zambia regards innovative health care financing as a key driver in the attainment of UHC.
He said Zambia had introduced compulsory national health insurance to improve revenue for health care. The high-level meeting brought together key stakeholders from the health sector representing both public and private entities. The Joint Africa Leadership Meeting was chaired by His Excellency Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda and Chairperson of the African Union. Other speakers included His Excellency Uruhu Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya; Her Excellency Sahle-Work Zewde, President of the Republic of Ethiopia; His Excellency Antonio Manuel de Oliveira Guterres, United Nations Secretary General; Her Excellency Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway; Bill Gates, Co-Chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Dr. Tedros Adhanom, Secretary General of the WHO and Peter Sands, Executive Director of The Global Fund.
The meeting noted remarkable progress made by African governments in improving life expectancy and health outcomes. Speakers expressed concerns that Africa was home to 16% of the world’s population and accounted for 93% of the world’s malaria burden. The inaugural meeting was held on the margins of the 32nd Ordinary Session of the African Union for Heads of State and Government at the Sheraton Hotel in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.