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Equatorial Guinea, a leader in health investment in Africa

posted by www.equatorialguineaonline.com – July 17th, 2012

Equatorial Guinea and Botswana lead in per capita investment in health care in Africa, according to the World Health Organization. The statistics pertain to the 2012 report Africa Health Financing Scorecard.

17/07/2012

The data in this report show that Equatorial Guinea leads the panel of countries that invest in health with $612 per capita, followed by Botswana, with $442. South Africa spends $228, Morocco $59, Gabon $127, and Cameroon $16. The figures for each country can be affected by the availability of private health care.

The survey results were presented by Rotimi Sankore, coordinator of the Africa Public Health Alliance, at the joint Conference of Ministers of Finance and Health, held in Tunisia from July 4 to 5.

Sankore also said that the investment gap in health between industrialized and developing States was still too wide. According to data provided in the African region, the average investment is only about $41 per person, with 9.6% overall budget for health. This figure is very low also compared with the 16.9% on average spent on the American continent, the 14.6% investment in Europe and 14.4% in the Western Pacific. The average regional per capita is $1,566 in the United States and $1,677 in Europe.

For its part, the World Health Organization (WHO) has urged African governments to increase investment in health.

In addition, Equatorial Guinea was ranked number 40 in the percentage of the national budget devoted to health, with 7.2%, reflecting the large proportion of public money invested in a wide range of infrastructure projects, education, roads, electrification, communications, etc.

Sankore compared the cases of Equatorial Guinea and Botswana with countries like Cuba (623 dollars) and Costa Rica (449 dollars) and said that although the investments were similar, the results in the field of health are better in the latter two countries due to factors such as the existence of more health professionals, better availability of drinking water and sanitation, more equitable distribution of health services, etc.

The improvement of the health infrastructures in Equatorial Guinea is one of the main development objectives of President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, within the Horizon 2020 program. Equatorial Guinea has invested heavily in the sector and has contributed to international efforts to improve it, in Africa in particular. The Government donated $15.8 million to reduce malaria in children last May 2011. In 2010, it granted $1.5 million and the installation of the WHO headquarters to support research on global health.

Equatorial Guinea has also provided technical assistance to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to improve the effectiveness of its assistance program, and has also launched a series of programs for Equatorial Guineans. The basic indicators of health and, in particular, infant mortality rates are continuously improving in the country, and the Government is widely recognized for its efforts in eradicating malaria.

The new statistics of health investment in Africa can be verified in the following link:

Health Financing and Health MDGs (Millennium Development Goals) Scorecard and Africa’s first Multi Year Health Financing Trends Analysis.

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