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UNDP urges African countries to reduce healthcare inequalities

April 11, 2023
UNDP urges African countries to reduce healthcare inequalities
Nurse and Patient

The Development Programme () has called on African countries to prioritize efforts to reduce healthcare inequalities and improve access to quality healthcare for all. Despite significant progress in improving health outcomes, vast inequalities in access to healthcare services remain a challenge.

Ms Belynda Amankwa, Programme Specialist for Health at the UNDP Ghana Office, made this statement to mark World Health Day, which was celebrated under the theme “Health for All” this year.

According to the (WHO), 30% of the global population does not have access to essential health services, and a quarter of the world's population faces the risk of impoverishment due to healthcare spending. The pandemic has also derailed gains made to combat , Tuberculosis, and Malaria.

In Ghana, despite significant progress made in healthcare delivery in recent years, communicable and non-communicable diseases continue to pose significant threats to public health. Ms Amankwa highlighted that the quality of healthcare services remains variable across the country.

Ms Amankwa stressed that prioritizing healthcare delivery would ensure that everyone, regardless of their background or circumstances, could have an opportunity to lead a healthy and fulfilling life. She added that investing in Universal Health Coverage (UHC) could guarantee timely and equitable access to quality health services when and where people needed them, without financial hardship.

Strengthening the (NHIS) and implementing Ghana's UHC roadmap could address the root causes of financial barriers to healthcare access.

Furthermore, Ms Amankwa suggested that the use of Health Technology Assessments (HTA) for prioritization and effective resource allocation for UHC should also be prioritized. The UNDP-led Access and Delivery Partnership supports the institutionalization of HTA within Ghana's health system, which helps to prioritize and allocate resources for UHC.

Ms Amankwa called for the embrace of primary healthcare services, harnessing the power of digital technology, and strengthening multi-sectoral action on health.

She emphasized the need to work together across sectors and borders to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to live a healthy life, critical as nations work towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal Three and other health-related SDGs in the next seven years (2030).

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