Africa needs $4 billion a year to fund health services and prepare for pandemics: WHO

African health ministers have adopted a new eight-year strategy to transform the continent’s health security and emergency response, requiring $4 billion a year.

The Regional Strategy for Health Security and Emergencies 2022-2030 was adopted in Lomé, the Togolese capital, during the 72nd session of the Regional Committee for Africa of the World Health Organization (WHO).

The WHO has estimated that Africa will need funds for public health and prepare the continent for the next pandemic.

He said funds are needed from international and domestic sources.

Member States agreed to achieve 12 targets by 2030 to strengthen their capacity to prevent, prepare for, detect and respond to health emergencies, including 80% of Member States with predictable and sustainable health security funding.

Other agreements provided for the mobilization of 90% of an effective response to public health emergencies within 24 hours of detection and the presence in all countries of 80% of health districts with functional programs for the delivery of services and ‘quality improvement.

“Before the emergence of COVID-19, the main causes of epidemics in the region were cholera, measles, yellow fever, meningococcal meningitis, influenza and viral hemorrhagic fevers, most of which are preventable by strengthening routine immunization,” the WHO noted.

He added that COVID-19 has highlighted the need for improved surveillance, diagnosis, treatment and health services in Africa.

WHO Regional Director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, said COVID-19 was a wake-up call for the African region to prioritize building resilient health systems capable of delivering life-saving care. quality healthcare while dealing with public health emergencies.

(Xinhua/NAN)

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