More than half of all Africans go without needed medical care at least once in a given year, a new analysis of Afro barometer survey data shows. Across the continent, citizens identify health as the second-most-important national problem they want their governments to address.
Even before the threat of overwhelming demand due to COVID-19, about one in five Africans faced a frequent lack of needed health-care services, including almost two-thirds of the poorest citizens. Afro- Barometer Reports
According to National Health Surveys carried out in more than 34 Countries, 53% said went without needed care at least once during the previous year. 46% say their government is performing fairly badly or very badly in improving Basic Health Services.
Question remains what is the number one priority?
Well a scenario here in Uganda during the COVID-19 Pandemic, government has so far managed to mobilize a pool of resources worth 143 Billion Shillings but rationed these resources in a ratio of 1:2 between Health and Defense Systems Respectively. It should be noted that the Health Sector Budget has only been increased due to the current Global Crisis after Parliament’s approval.
Some leaders in Parliament went ahead to blame it on lack of collective responsibility among citizens and leaders to see to it that the Health System is strengthened. It was also observed that during the Pandemic some Health Workers abandoned Ship due to lack enough health equipment to sustain service provision.
These National Surveys did not only expose the loopholes in our Health Systems but also in governance and leadership. The surveys also proved how some systems are unable to reach global standards in System Strengthening as ‘Our Country might end up crushing in efforts to adapt to global processes” a comment made by Hon. Jane Ruth Aceng the Health Minister in the Ugandan Government.
In the end, governments are counting on Communities alongside Health Workers to strongly support Health Systems even when they are not ready to meaningfully include them in the budget processes.