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African Ministers of Health from WHO endorse The Roadmap for access 2019-2023

World Health Organization

Earlier in the week, it was announced that proposals aimed at addressing the shortage of, and access to vaccines and medicines have been endorsed by Ministers of Health from the World Health Organisation (WHO) African Region.

As per reports, issues like drafting critical policies added support for vaccines and medicines, and actions and key deliverables to help countries improve access to health products over the next five years were discussed by the World Health Organization (WHO) African region while drafting ‘The Roadmap for access 2019-2023’.

Access to medicines is at the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and at one of WHO’s top priorities, the core of universal health coverage (UHC).

The commitments by the government of various African nations to reduce out-of-pocket (OOP) expenditure on medicines and other health services has been greatly deflated in recent times due to under-resourced health systems, the rise in non-communicable diseases(for eg: cancer and diabetes), and the high cost of new medical products.

Additionally, as per reports, it has been noted that many countries still find it difficult to provide complete access to the health products required by their populations despite progress in access to treatment and prevention of some diseases in recent times.

While discussing The Roadmap for access 2019-2023’, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa said, “Due to the high cost of medicines citizens in African countries cannot afford the essential medicines they need to stay healthy and alive, Universal health coverage can only be achieved if we can provide our citizens with affordable access to quality medical.”

Moeti further added, “This can be done through an integrated and sustained effort based on better quality oversight of medical products, stronger pharmaceutical policies, and an active community participation so that we can know for real that we are meeting the needs of people. We are provided with a strong foundation to start this work due to the roadmap”

As per reports, there was a mutual agreement between Delegates present at meeting to strengthen collaboration on health products procurement to reduce prices, to conduct collaborative assessing of medical products so as to cut costs, and also to promote medical research and development that responds well to the public health necessities of middle and low income countries.

The roadmap also denotes better monitoring of access to medicines and more responsible use of medicines, specifically of antimicrobials.


About the author


Markham Heid

Markham is a freelance writer and editor. He contributes regularly to Time, Men's Health, VICE Media, Playboy, and Prevention. His work has also appeared in Shape, Sports Illustrated, Food & Wine, and many other outlets. Markham has received reporting awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Maryland, Delaware, and D.C. Press Association.

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