WINDHOEK, 28 AUG – Minister of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) Bernard Haufiku is attending the 68th session of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Committee for Africa in Dakar, Senegal.
A media release issued by MoHSS on Monday said the meeting which kicked off on Monday, is expected to run until Friday and is attended by ministers and senior officials from 47 African countries.
The meeting, among others, will launch a new report on the State of Health in Africa, which provides a comprehensive overview of the state of health, the state of health systems performance and how these affect the attainment of the 2030 Agenda development goals in the region.
“The report also notes that people in Africa still have access to a very limited range of services, a situation that is contrary to the expectations of universal health coverage, where adolescents, and elderly persons in Africa are particularly left behind,” said the statement.
According to the report, an analysis of the performance of the health system across the region also shows that they are performing at nearly 49 per cent of their full capacity, while access to essential services and resilience of systems to shocks are the most critical variables limiting system performance.
According to WHO statistics, over 150 000 cholera cases, including 3 000 deaths were reported from 17 countries in the African region in 2017 alone.
Delegates will also discuss proposals aimed at eliminating cholera by 2030, starting with strengthening epidemiological and laboratory surveillance, mapping cholera hotspots and improving access to timely treatment.
“The delegates will discuss the challenges and proposed actions to be taken by member states and partners to address the slow progress in tackling the rising non-communicable diseases in the region.”
In addition, the rise in non-communicable diseases, under-resourced health systems and the high cost of new medical products are undermining governments’ commitments to reduce out-of-pocket (OOP) expenditure on medicines and other health services.
The media communiqué also noted that there is need to ensure that people have access to medicine in the continent, which will be one of the issues on the agenda.
“Some of the recommendations to be deliberated are the need for stronger pharmaceutical policies, better quality oversight of medical products and collaboration on health products procurement.”