Smart Investments Vital To Improving African Countries’ Health Systems

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Getting more health care for your money
Matshidiso Moeti, regional director of the WHO Regional Office for Africa

“…[R]esearch has shown that health and economic development are deeply intertwined. … Investing in health care makes economic as well as humanitarian sense. But if we dig down into the data we have collected around health care in [Africa], an important trend emerges: It is not only investing more, but investing smartly. World Health Organization (WHO) analysis of health expenditures and healthy life expectancy — or the number of years a person can expect of ‘good health’ — has found the link weak. … [W]e need to pay attention to how money is spent on health. And this has explicit implications on how we develop health care policy across the region. … [A] change in direction — and a focus on primary care through health workforce and infrastructure investment — would improve the health systems in countries that aren’t performing as well as they could. … You don’t need to be rich to be healthy” (3/28).