Partners in the Harmonization for Health in Africa (HHA) initiative convened in Nairobi on October 4 and 5, as a follow-up to the recent Tunis Ministerial Conference for African Health and Finance Ministers.
Regional Directors, senior representatives and a multidisciplinary group of technical experts from the HHA partner agencies used the opportunity to discuss how to further strengthen their support to countries in providing quality and affordable healthcare to African populations, particularly the under-served.
Through exchanging experiences on the partnership’s approach to advocacy, technical support, resource mobilization, among other topics, the delegates sought solutions to support countries in a more cohesive and effective manner. A key objective was to come up with an action plan for implementing the “Tunis Declaration on Value for Money, Sustainability and Accountability in the Health Sector.”
“Although African countries have made progress towards the health MDGs, there is an urgent need to expand the universal health coverage that enhances access to quality healthcare and reduces catastrophic out-of-pocket expenditures,” said Dr. Luis Sambo, WHO’s Regional Director for Africa, and Chairman of HHA.
“Developing innovative health financing mechanisms, along with promoting efficient and equitable use of the available resources will contribute towards sustaining the health gains, and serve as a significant step towards the attainment of the MDGs and other internationally agreed goals,” he added.
The meeting offered a platform for HHA partners to come together and develop clear guidance that will assist partners at country levels to address key barriers and bottlenecks in their citizens’ access to health services. The participants also looked for ways for African countries to effectively integrate social, demographic and health factors into broader development strategies.