Africa, Asia demonstrate benefits of health financing

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–Health Minister, Joseph Kasonde, says African and Asian countries have successfully demonstrated the benefits of health financing based on prepayment and pooling that improved health care utilization and protection of the citizens in their countries.

Dr Kasonde says good systems in the health sector are vital because they do not only highlight success but also failures and costly mistakes for the purpose of experience sharing and best practices in the health sector.

He said this today at the Africa-Asia Dialogue Forum on achieving Universal Health Coverage through Health Financing Reform at Inter-Continental Hotel in Lusaka today.

Dr Kasonde stated that the forum will also look on how best to extend access to a range of essential health services in order to prevent individuals, households or communities from being excluded from healthcare services .

And speaking at the same meeting, Director for Human Development Department, Africa Development Bank (AFDB), Agnes Soucat, said systematic managing of the health sector in most African countries still remains a challenge.

Dr Soucat, however, said many governments in Africa are trying to work how best to financing the health sector in their respective countries through private sector involvement.

She said the four-day-forum taking place in Zambia will no doubt come up with the best strategies of sharing knowledge of how to improve the health sector among African and Asian nations.

Meanwhile, Resident Representave of the Africa Development Bank Zambia Field Office, Freddie Kwesiga, said African countries continue to face challenges exacerbated by primary two factors.

Mr. Kwesiga said one of the factors is the burden of out-of-pocket payments for health services on individual and households, and fragmented and unregulated health financing systems.

He said in Africa, the health financing scenario is largely characterized by informal health services combined with extensive financial barriers to access.