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African Governments Must Channel Funds To Health Priorities, Depend Less On External Aid

The Conversation: With an African running the WHO, it’s time for the continent to get hands on
Oyewale Tomori, president of the Nigerian Academy of Science

“New World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus has already drawn up a list of things to do. The former Ethiopian health minister wants the organization to work with governments to build their national capacity for universal health coverage through strong and resilient health systems. Secondly, he wants to strengthen the WHO’s response to threats such as disease outbreaks. And finally he wants to see the WHO harmonize emergency responses across partners while bolstering frontline defenses at national and local levels. … The reality is that each African country must provide adequate domestic resources to create environments where health workers can get the job done. This would need leaders on the continent to use these resources in an accountable and transparent way with less dependence on external aid and global support. … The bottom line is that extra spending by African governments needs to be channeled to the three areas outlined by the director general. Without this, his ambitious plans for improving health care on the continent won’t be realized” (6/11).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.