Ethiopian News Agency (Addis Ababa)

25 April 2012

Ethiopia: Scholar Stresses Need for African Countries to Mobilize Budget to Health Sector

Addis Ababa — A scholar of the Addis Ababa University (AAU), Professor Emeritus Reda Tekle Haimanot stressed the need for African countries to mobilize adequate budget allocation to the health sector.

In a research paper presented at the 13th World Congress on Public Health underway here, Prof. Reda said the countries should mobilize budget at least to the level of the 2001 Abuja Declaration of 15 per cent of national budgets.

Prof. Reda said countries have to take resolute action to train and retain African health workers.

In the case of Ethiopia, the evidence attests to the significant contributions of the pooled fund obtained from development partners is managed towards the improvements of health delivery systems in the country.

Sub-Saharan African countries should urgently address the water, sanitation and hygiene crisis, because there cannot be health equity without equity in access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation.

He said other innovative approaches, such as the successful Ethiopian initiative of deploying trained health extension workers at the community level, as part of the country's strategic plan for strengthening the health system, should be considered by others as a good lesson.

The capacity of health systems should be strengthened to provide effective and equitable quality health care services, including appropriate infrastructure, essential drugs and equipment and adequate skilled and motivated human power.

Since the majority of the Africa population is rural, primary health care services and preventive health activities should be re-activated, upgraded and expanded.

Prof. Reda on the occasion received a High Level Lecture Award of the African Federation of Public Health Associations. The award is given to scholars every three years.

President of the Ethiopian Public Health Association (EPHA), Dr. Tewabech Bishaw on her part said a number of research papers were presented at the event.

She said similar papers will be tabled for discussion on Thursday.

The congress is underway from 23-27 April 2012 under the theme  Towards Global Health Equity: Opportunities and Threats.

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