News / Africa

African Officials Urge Country Control of Health Care

Dr. Medhin Zewdu of Ethiopia says country ownership brings about commitment and sustainability

Iren Salama (L) holds her baby Pendo as it is given an injection as part of a malaria vaccine trial at a clinic in the Kenya coastal town of Kilifi, November 23, 2010
Iren Salama (L) holds her baby Pendo as it is given an injection as part of a malaria vaccine trial at a clinic in the Kenya coastal town of Kilifi, November 23, 2010

Multimedia

Audio
TEXT SIZE - +
James Butty

Health ministers from four African countries – Ethiopia, Mali, Senegal, and Sierra Leone – are in Washington to push for greater ownership of their national health care programs.

They are expected to issue a “Call to Action” to help make country ownership of health programs a reality.

Dr. Medhin Zewdu, director-general of the Office of the Ethiopian Ministry of Health, says ownership brings about greater commitment to the country’s health programs.

“As you know, countries are struggling to provide the best health services to their people and, you know, we have as the Millennium Development Goals to reduce maternal mortality and also the fight against [HIV/AIDS] epidemic. So, we are calling for action because we need to move faster when it comes to ownership to ensure sustainability,” she says.

The four African countries are members of the Ministerial Leadership Initiative for Global Health which is leading the push for country-led development in health.

“The Ministerial Leadership Initiative is basically to support countries to have ownership of their own programs, of their priorities, of their needs, as I said, to save the lives of mothers and [the] lives of babies, and to provide, overall health services as a basis of human rights and dignity,” Zewdu says.

Zewdu said, without country ownership of their health programs, those programs will have no sustainability.

“In the old times, [development] partners used to come with their funds, with probably their own program agendas and the countries are just there to implement what they are told to do. And, in Ethiopia, we are saying that we have our own identified priorities and we want our partners to help us in achieving those targets and results,” she says.

At the Global Health Conference, being held this week in Washington, a panel discussion is expected to focus on whether donors would still support health programs when they are led by countries.

Zewdu says the days of one leads and the others will follow are over. Now, she says it’s time for partnership.

“Actually, I wouldn’t really want to use the words “countries lead and the others follow” because, in the past, it was donors lead and countries follow. So, instead of one leading and the others follow, I think we need to really talk of a real partnership and be mutually accountable; we can achieve the results in more effective way,” she says.

Zewdu said many donors today, including (those in) the United States, are moving toward supporting more country ownership of their health programs.

“If I take the U.S. Global Health Initiative, the GHI, its main principle is to promote country ownership.  So, countries know what they need and you know our U.S. partners and all other partners elsewhere are now trying to understand us and also approve that this is the only way,” she says.

She said, if donors want to help African countries realize the Millennium Development Goals in health, they must promote country ownership.

Zewdu admitted that not everyone is on board (with) the idea of country ownership of health programs.  But, she says it is a process that is slowly gaining traction.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid