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Support for the International Health Partnership for UHC 2030 is growing throughout Africa and globally, as the recent communiqué from the Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICADⅥ) demonstrated.
The conference on 27-28 August in Nairobi, Kenya welcomed Heads of State and delegations from 106 countries, and 74 representatives from civil society and the private sector. The communiqué, which also covered a range of development issues, states:
“We strongly believe that strengthened health systems will lay the foundation for achieving universal health coverage (UHC) which will contribute to strengthening preparedness for public health emergencies, as well as to improving the quality of life.”
African countries welcomed international and regional frameworks by multi-sectoral stakeholders to promote UHC, such as ‘International Health Partnership for UHC 2030’ and ‘UHC in Africa: A Framework for Action’. In the communiqué, they also stressed a greater use of enhanced country coordination mechanisms for health system strengthening.
On the margins of the TICAD Ⅵ, the World Bank and the World Health Organization (WHO), together with the government of Japan, Japan International Cooperation Agency, the Global Fund, and the African Development Bank also launched ‘UHC in Africa: A Framework for Action’ and the World Bank and the Global Fund committed $24 Billion for the framework, which supports African countries’ ownership to develop and implement their own country roadmaps towards UHC by 2030.
African country experience in reforming public finance systems to support progress towards UHC indicates that success depends on more than simply increasing the level of public budgets. Rather, it requires appropriately targeted health budget allocations, complete execution of health’s public budgets, and improved efficiency in the use of public resources for health.
To this end, WHO also published the report Public financing for health in Africa: from Abuja to the SDGs right before TICAD Ⅵ. This report takes stock of the main public financing for health trends over the past 15 years in the African region, and highlights opportunities for accelerated progress toward UHC based on better-informed budget planning and utilization decisions.