The 68th World Health Organization Regional Committee meeting opened in Dakar, Senegal on Monday.
Health ministers from at least 47 African countries are attending the meeting. Participants are expected to examine the health situation of the continent and seek for solutions through research.
“The regional framework for the implementation of the global strategy on cholera… cholera comes back regularly, and we need to deal with it. We are also confronted with Ebola and our struggle must be relentless and innovative”, said Chairman of the 68th Session of the WHO Africa Committee, Pagwesese David Parirenyatwa.
Some countries have made efforts to increase the share of health in their national budgets, but gaps persist.
Governments are being encouraged to earmark a larger share of their budgets to strengthen health systems on the continent. Participants will also propose solutions to Africa’s health needs by 2030.
“Some countries have made efforts to increase the share of health in their national budgets, but gaps persist. And they must be reduced through creative resource mobilization mechanisms such as taxes on certain products. Let us tax sugar and alcohol more, I think that this is crucial, and let us tax tobacco more”, Parirenyatwa added.
The WHO regional committee meeting would also study mechanisms for improving access to medical treatment and medicines in Africa. The meeting ends on Friday August 31.