Leaders Highlight Health as a Vital Investment in Economies

by Amref Health Africa

At a strategic roundtable, delegates from Member States, partners, and experts from the health and financial sectors presented bold new ideas and initiatives, positioning health as a shared responsibility and investment of all sectors and the central goal of economies.

Progress towards universal health coverage (UHC) has been hampered by insufficient public financing to fund national health plans. Governments, investment banks, and other actors are now initiating innovative solutions to bridge short-term gaps and ensure sustainability in health financing. 

Thomas Östros, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank, said that a Health Impact Investment Platform has been established to enable multilateral development banks to coordinate an approach to catalytically invest in primary health care in low- and middle-income countries.

Professor Mariana Mazzucato, Chair of the WHO Council on the Economics of Health for All, reiterated that conditions impacting health and well-being are influenced by economic and social factors. Dr Akmaral Alnazarova, Minister of Healthcare, Kazakhstan, shared that an international coalition for UHC is planned, emphasizing the need to reorientate health systems towards a fully financed primary health care approach to achieve UHC.  

Dr Githinji Gitahi, Group Chief Executive Officer of Amref Health Africa, highlighted that steps are being taken to better align health systems financing by global health initiatives, such as GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, and the Global Fund, with national priorities, advancing the aims of the ‘Lusaka agenda’. 

Japan’s Vice Minister for Health and Chief Medical and Global Health Officer, Dr Masami Sakoi, announced that the Japanese Government will work with WHO and the World Bank to establish a new UHC Knowledge Hub in the Tokyo area in 2025 to help countries strengthen coordination between health and finance sectors.  

Original Article: https://www.who.int/news/item/29-05-2024-seventy-seventh-world-health-assembly—daily-update–29-may-2024

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