The sixty-first session of the World Health Organisation’s Regional Committee for Africa has, in Yamoussoukro, Cote D’Ivoire, adopted a framework for the formation of an African Health Emergency Fund.The Regional Committee is made up of Health Ministers from the 46 countries which constitute the African Region of WHO.
The fund is envisaged to address the concern of the inadequate allocation of resources to health by African countries.
The committee urged countries to strive to eliminate the current financial barriers facing the health sector in Africa by implementing pre-payment mechanisms such as tax-based financing and health insurance as well as ensure efficient and equitable allocation and utilisation of resources and improve accountability of public spending.
The committee noted that although global economic outlook was bleak and issues of corruption still seem to hamper progress in the health sector, progress has been made in some countries.
The areas where the continent had made significant progress according to the committee include maternal mortality, prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and neglected tropical diseases.
The committee launched a series of initiative among which were the strategy for measles elimination by 2020, the African Association of Public Health Physicians, WHO Reform for A Healthy Future, and Implementation of the WHO Programme Budget 2010-2011 in the African Region, and Framework for Public Health Adaptation to Climate Change in the African Region.