Monday, August 20, 2012

INFOCUS: Health Financing in Africa; a % comparison between Total Health Expenditure, Government Expenditure and GDP

Monday, August 20, 2012
Part One.

Pic: Global Health Check

At the 2001 Abuja, Nigeria African Summit on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and other related Infections Diseases, Heads of States and other actors agreed on what has been a key reference point on financing for the health sector. The outcome of the Summit, the popular Abuja Declaration saw a commitment by Heads of States to allocate at least 15% of the total budget for the Health Sector. How much of this commitment has been realized since then? 
WE COMMIT OURSELVES to take all neccesary measures to ensure the needed resources are made available from all sources and that they are efficiently and effectively utilized. In addition, WE PLEDGE to set a target of allocating at least 15% of our annual budget to the improvement of the health sector. Article 26: Abuja Declaration, 2001 
We have compiled data and generated presentation using the World Bank Databank, selecting a total of 54 African countries to make the progress comparison. What we are comparing is the percentage (%) of the following areas; 
  1. Total Health Expenditure; this including both public and private, 
  2. Total Government Expenditure i.e. total fiscal budget expenditure, 
  3. GDP. 
How to use the chart: 

At the top right, you have a drop-down menu of all African countries on this list. Click on this and select the country you wish to view. There are three data series to view and these are as seen on the Legend below the chart. If you wish to view one series at a time, you can mute the series you do not want to view. To do this, click on that series once and it will be muted. Do the same for all others until you are left with the one you want. To reactivate the series, click on it once again. 

You can download also download this data set. Take your mouse at the top of the chart, on the grey bar and click on the arrow icon pointing down. 

Analysis of the information will show you that there is still much needed to be done. There is also progress on a number of areas. We will discuss these areas in part two of this article, expected in a few days time.

Health Expenditure, % of Public (Government Expenditure)

In summary, since the adoption of the Abuja Declaration, less than 5 countries have been able to consistently deliver on the 15% commitment. Some have have had inconsistencies. At varying times, allocations for some were beyond the 15% margin and the following years fell well short of that mark. 

Health Expenditure, % of Public (Total Health Expenditure) 

On this area, we see governments meeting their responsibility by at least delivering a larger percent in total health expenditure. In over 3/4 of all countries, public health expenditure has accounted for more than 50% of the total health expenditure. However, much as this is the case, the health sector on the continent is still massively under-financed. The needs are expansive and the purse is still lacking the adequate muscle. 

Your Reactions 

What are your views on this data and the resulting interpretations you have derived? Where do you see the continent headed or specific countries? Where are the lessons and practices worth replicating? Are there alternative financing approaches for the health sectors that can or should be explored and implemented? We would love to hear from you. Your views will feature in the second part of this post. 

Editorial Team.

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