*Says everyone needs access to quality health services
The WHO Regional Office for Africa has called on African leaders to live up to the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs pledges they made in 2015 through commitment and concrete actions.
Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa who was speaking during a media Parley organized to mark its 70th anniversary as well as the World Health Day noted that effective leadership and high-level of political commitment are critical to achieving the Universal health coverage, UHC in Africa.
In his speech, Dr. Moeti said that the WHO has in its 70 years of existence recorded major advancement in health and health technology as well as improved access to treatment and essential services.
According to him, for the first time in the history of Africa, more than half of all people living with HIV in Africa (14million) have access to life-saving HIV treatment.
‘’ Over the past 70 years, there have been major advances in health and health technology, including life-saving medicines for diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, hypertension and diabetes.
In the African Region, health outcomes have been improved through strategies such as distributing insecticide-treated nets to prevent malaria, and vaccinating against the human papillomavirus which causes cervical cancer.
’’Access to treatment and essential services has improved. For the first time, more than half of all people living with HIV in Africa (14 million) have access to life-saving HIV treatment’’ Moeti stated.
The WHO Regional Director who also said that new cases of malaria dropped by 20% between 2010 and 2016 added that the risk of developing pneumonia and meningitis was largely reduced for nearly two thirds of children on the continent following their vaccination as compared to the 3% in 2010.
Reiterating its continued support to member States towards achieving its UHC, the WHO added that it has developed a framework of actions to assist countries in selecting their own path towards achieving both UHC and SDGs.
‘’A flagship programme geared towards providing integrated and holistic support to countries through implementation support, a regional learning programme for UHC and now is available’’ he added.
He further stressed the need to do more in curbing the increase in non communicable diseases as well as tackle epidemics like Ebola and cholera. ‘’There is also a need to address the challenge of antimicrobial resistance and substandard and falsified medicines’’.
It might interest you to know that on Saturday 7th of April 2018, the world will mark World Health’s Day alongside, the World Health Organization WHO’s 70th anniversary.
The theme of this year’s World Health Day celebration is “Universal Health Coverage: everyone, everywhere”.
The WHO says its offices worldwide have put up events to mark the day.