Time for bigger health budget for women and children in Africa is now

September 19, 2013

Policy makers and budget makers should work together to reduce Africa’s maternal, infant and child mortality rates, which are the highest in world. In a seminar I attended that brought together tech experts from around the world and how they can help the continent tackle the maternal, neonatal and child health through technological solutions there was a broad consensus that something need to be done urgently. In my presentation, I presented technological solutions that exist and those that can be developed. It’s a moral standard to share the responsibility and ensure 19th century challenges are eliminated in 21st century Africa. What shocked me was how narrow minded and shallow health professionals and representatives of African countries were unable to discuss technological solutions and policies that would attract funding from both foreign agencies and from well-wishers. I also think it is vital to protect the health of women and children because it was an investment in the Africa’s future. All those concerned should serious policies and commitment to developing effective policies toward the improvement of health services. I believe it is imperative that strategies be established and adequate funds allocated for the improvement of the health of mothers, infants and small children. Participants in the conference expressed hope African countries will significantly allocate enough funds for health services. Africa has been experiencing a slowing rate of child mortality decline over the past decade, with a prediction that at the current rate of reduction is not enough.

African children should be part of the future generation in the continent, helping Africa face challenges in a more competitive environment and Africa must make sure its children grow healthy and creative so they can form the backbone of a stronger continent. African government should take seriously the health care system, especially when it comes to mothers and children. It will be of great help if the universal health coverage can become achievable and many more children lives will be saved. Research conducted by UNICEF in Africa five years ago there was a clear indication that if the African governments were to allocate extra money to health departments there would be great improvements in the health of children and women who largely remain the most vulnerable in African countries. If fully embraced by all countries, provision of quality free health care for the continent’s needy. According to a research conducted last year, the annual number of deaths among children under the age of five in more than half of African countries has decreased compared to a decade ago but some countries like war torn countries like Niger, Chad, DR Congo, Chad, Eritrea and Somalia among others. The research shows that thousands of African children die every day and if the facts presented are anything to go by, then the region has a long way to go in tackling the menace. The poorest and most marginalized children in countries like Niger and Central African Republic continues to fall victim to easily preventable and treatable diseases like pneumonia and diarrhea that have become rare in western and other developed countries. Me think that Africa need to make sure that prevention and treatment services are available to all African children.

Contador Harrison