African Organizations Join Forces to Push for 15% Health Budget Commitment
It is the 7th anniversary of the pledge by African Union member states to allocate 15% of national budgets to health. In a statement to mark the anniversary, Archbishop Tutu stated:
“The AU Abuja 15% pledge is one of the most important commitments African leaders have made to health development and financing, and our Heads of State should strive to meet this pledge without further delay. The continued loss of millions of African lives annually which can be prevented is unacceptable and unsustainable. Our leaders know what they have to do. They have already pledged to do it. All they have to do now is actually do it. This is all we ask of them.”
Current social development and health indicators from international and African institutions show that over eight million African lives are lost annually to preventable, treatable and manageable health conditions and diseases mainly – Child Mortality, Maternal Mortality, HIV/AIDS, Malaria, and TB.
Meeting the Abuja 2001 by African leaders to allocate 15% or more of annual budgets to health is crucial to Public Health in Africa. Yet this pledge remains largely unmet with just two countries, Botswana and Seychelles demonstrating their commitment to the 15% pledge.
The Nobel Prize Winner underlined that:
“While global health is a global responsibility, African leaders also have a moral responsibility to our people. Just as we expect the international community to honour their commitments to global health, we also expect African leaders to honour African commitments”
In a communiqué from its recent Abuja conference released last week and supported by 141 African and global organisations and networks, the 15% Now Campaign called on “Fellow members of African Civil Society, the health and medical community, other sectors of society and global partners to join in building the biggest continental, sub-regional, national and community based movement possible for ensuring that health development financing and budgeting on a needs based basis and the 15% commitment is implemented as Africa’s top social and economic development priority.”