SADC Ministers of Health For Establishment of Financial Hub
Southern African Development Community member states have agreed to form a financial hub to ensure health services are well funded, to collectively fight health challenges prevalent in the region.
Chairperson of the ministers of health and those responsible for HIV/Aids Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda announced the resolutions on Wednesday in Lilongwe following failure by the countries to meet the Abuja 25 percent funding requirement to health services, coupled with continuing challenges.
She added that malaria alone for example costs Africa more than 12 billion dollars every year, as stunting affects 30 percent of the population, 5.7 percent malnourished and the overweight stand at 6.2 percent; hugely impacting negatively on not only economic growth, but also burdening the health sector in managing the preventable challenges.
The Malawi health minister added, "HIV/Aids, malaria, malnutrition and stunting among other dangerous diseases need to be dealt with so that they do not continue to pose a public health threat by the year 2030".
"Member states have to increase efforts by diligently ensuring financing and domestic investment in the health sector towards other diseases, especially now that much focus is directed at dealing with the global pandemic, Covid-19", Chiponda said.
Sadc executive secretary Elias Mpedi Magosi appealed and encouraged the member states to present proposals that are favorable to fighting diseases, which are a huge concern in the region.
"This health agenda has to be supported by all the members because they share common challenges. Much as we have development partners, it makes more sense if the block collectively brings together resources", said Magosi.
Magosi indicated that the hub will not only be of financial benefit, but also an information instrument on different challenging diseases.
It was agreed therefore that the countries can deal with the diseases by the year 2030, considering that Malawi has managed to reduce stunting for example from 47 percent in 2010 to 33% in 2020, Vitamin A deficiency from 22% in 2010 to 3.6% in 2016, while malnutrition stands at less than 1percent.