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672 Million Africans Lack Access to Health Care – WHO

The World Health Organisation, WHO has said 672 million people in Africa do not have access to the health care they need.

The organisation Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, said this in her message to commemorate the World Health Day 2023 and the WHO’s 75th Anniversary.

WHD is celebrated annually on April 7 and each year draws attention to a specific health topic of concern to people all over the world, with the theme for this year being ‘Health For All.’

Dr. Moeti said this results from weak health systems characterized by inadequate health infrastructure; poorly designed policies to limit financial barriers to health services; shortage of qualified health workers; inadequate access to quality medicines, medical products, and innovative technologies.

Moeti noted that Universal Health Coverage represents the aspiration that quality health services should be received by everyone when and where needed, without incurring financial hardships.

“UHC is the tool by which health for all is achieved. Beyond health and wellbeing, UHC also contributes to social inclusion, gender equality, poverty eradication, economic growth, and human dignity.

“Although most Member States in the African Region have integrated the attainment of UHC as a central goal of their national health strategies, progress remains varied in translating this progress into equitable and quality services as well as increasing financial protection for the population.”

She said the COVID-19 pandemic, health emergencies, and worsening climate situation negatively impact efforts to accelerate progress towards UHC. The pandemic caused widespread disruptions to essential services.

“Health emergencies, many of which are driven by climate change, often disrupt access to safe water and sanitation services, increasing the risk of waterborne and vector-borne diseases.

“Strengthening health systems based on strong primary health care is crucial to building back better and accelerating progress towards universal health coverage and health security. Financial investment in PHC oriented by the building blocks of health systems, particularly a health workforce, health infrastructure, medicines, and health technologies, should be supported and guided by evidence.

“Ensuring additional investment to improve financial risk protection, addressing inequities, and building the resilience of national health systems in the post-COVID era is critical to our efforts to accelerate progress towards UHC in the African Region,” she noted.

She urged stakeholders to play roles in ensuring that political commitment is translated into evidence-based policies, strategies, and plans in achieving the 2030 UHC target.

Dare Akogun

Dare Akogun is a dynamic media innovator, strategic communication professional, and seasoned climate and environmental sustainability journalist with over 10 years of influential contributions to the media industry.

He Currently serving as the Head of Digital Media, Senior News Editor, and a presenter at Sobi FM 101.9, a leading radio station in Ilorin, Nigeria.

Dare is on a mission to leverage his media innovation expertise and project management skills to produce high-quality, accurate, and engaging content, while advocating for reduced fossil fuel consumption, especially coal, to combat effect of global warming.

He has covered comprehensively environmental issues and COP conferences, including COP28 in Dubai last year , COP 27 in Egypt, and the United Nations Least Developed Countries conference in Doha, in 2023.

He is a recipient of fellowship to be part of a 15 team of journalists selected worldwide to cover the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue 2024.

He has a Master's Degree in Mass Communication, from the University of Lagos, a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the Lagos State University and also a
Certification in Business Administration and Management, from the Babson College, Massachusetts, United States of America.

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