The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the urgent need for African countries to invest in their health systems. During this crisis, the think tank Wathi organized seminars that resulted in recommendations to help states improve their health systems. In this interview, the think tank’s advocacy officer shares some of those recommendations. Africans are fighting for political, economic and even food sovereignty (often referred to as food self-sufficiency). All these claims are noble, just and legitimate. On the other hand, there are obviously not many activists in favor of the sanitary sovereignty, however important, of our countries. This is one of the many issues that the citizen think tank is addressing
For this think tank, it is important that states finance their health sector, as a priority, with their own funds rather than leaving it to partners whose sources of financing may dry up or whose interests may change. Wathi makes a case for financing « better performing health systems » in West Africa and a number of Central African countries.
In this interview, the think tank’s advocacy officer, Dan-Viera Da Costa, explains the relevance for West African countries to make structuring investments in health before eventually calling on partners.
Wathi is clearly taking a stand for health sovereignty and this COVID-19 pandemic is a good pretext for reflection.
For Dan-Viera Da Costa, it is imperative that African countries, especially those of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), truly take charge of their health sector by providing the necessary funds. It is a problem that countries of the North, through their NGOs, their Funds for X or Y or other mechanisms, finance a large part of the health policy in our countries. In truth, it does not require anything other than the application of the commitment made in Abuja in 2001 to devote 15% of national budgets to the health sector. That countries of the North, through their NGOs, their Funds for X or Y or other mechanisms, finance a good part of the health policy in our countries, this does not seem to be a problem.
Source: AfricaGlobe Tv