Zimbabwe wins top post at the Africa Union Summit:
Parliamentarians from various African countries gathered to discuss health financing in Africa. The meeting, held on 11th and 12th July 2023 in Nairobi,At the sidelines of the African Union Summit resulted in the creation of the Parliamentarian Task Force on Domestic Resource Mobilization for Health in Africa. The task force aims to engage parliamentarians in their respective countries to mobilize national resources for health, strengthen community health, achieve universal health coverage, and address funding gaps for HIV, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.
Zimbabwe was represented at the meeting by Hon MP Dr Mathew Nyashanu, Hon MP Dr Ruth Labode, Hon MP Daniel Molokele, and Mr Itai Rusike. Hon MP Daniel Molokele from Zimbabwe was elected as the Co-Chairperson of the Parliamentarians Task Force on Domestic Resource Mobilization for Health in Africa, alongside Senegal.
The donor community is advocating for sustainability and wants countries to prioritize health as a national development goal. They aim to drive political will and encourage governments to allocate a larger share of their budgets to the health sector while decreasing reliance on external aid. This shift towards a sustainable and self-reliant health financing model is spearheaded by GFAN Africa, which prioritizes the long-term development and resilience of countries’ health delivery systems. This initiative will help countries respond better to future health emergencies like COVID-19.
THE NAIROBI DECLARATION 2023
We, Parliamentarians from Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, DRC, Ghana, Kenya, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal,
Zambia and Zimbabwe, gathered in Nairobi on 11th & 12th July 2023 at the sidelines of the
African Union Summit, to reflect and discuss health financing in Africa.
Cognizant of the need to formalize genuine collaboration between parliamentarians and Civil
Society, we propose for an effective advocacy program on sustainable domestic resource
mobilization for health in Africa, through a platform for exchanging information, sharing best
practices, strengthening political and synergies.
Our recommendations, resulted in the creation of the Parliamentarian Task Force on Domestic
Resource Mobilization for Health in Africa, with the objectives of engaging parliamentarians in
their respective countries on issues such as the mobilization of national resources for health;
strengthening of community health; universal health coverage; and addressing gaps in funding
for the fight against HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria. We, therefore, unite our voices in support of
The African Union member states have subscribed to a solid normative legal framework on the
right to health; they have committed to its Agenda 2063, whose aim is to transform the potential
threat posed by the expected doubling of its young population by 2050, into a «demographic
dividend», bringing economic growth and higher living standards, and they also subscribed
to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which aim to significantly increase the health
budget to ensure that everyone benefits from universal health coverage (UHC).
Heads of state and government have also made declarations and commitments on health
financing, notably at the 32nd Ordinary Conference of the African Union in Addis Ababa in
February 2019, during which they endorsed the deliberations of the African Leaders’ Meeting
(ALM) and adopted declarations in favor of mobilizing domestic resources for health financing
Notably, many African states are struggling to meet their commitments to mobilize domestic
resources, yet investing in health is investing in human capital, creating stable jobs, stimulating
economic growth and reducing inequalities.
While investments in community health programs are cost-effective, we note with concern the
lack of prioritisation and adequate budgets for the same. These investments contribute to the
reduction of health inequalities, ensuring access to basic services for vulnerable and marginalized
populations; they deliver high quality services and improve overall health outcomes and hence
need to be prioritised.
We acknowledge the support and collaboration of these partners.COMMITMENTS
We are committed to advocate for :
- Domestic resource mobilization for health including push for the move from commitment
to action, co-financing of Global Fund and other development partners programs for HIV,
TB and Malaria, to build equitable and resilient health systems, focused on people centered
approach and integrated health services (addressing HIV, TB and Malaria and other health
issues based on people’s needs and disease burden);
- Community Health system strengthening, including ensuring a recognized status for
Community Health Workers, financing of Community Health Strategy, support for community
led responses, and incorporation of community, rights and gender considerations in HIV, TB
and malaria programming;
- Incorporating universal health coverage as a goal in national health policy frameworks,
strategically connected to broader inter-ministerial priorities such as emergency
preparedness, social stability, climate, economy and finance;
- Bridging financial and implementation gaps of HIV, TB, Malaria, Health Systems Strengthening,
Pandemic Prevention Preparedness and Response and Community Health Systems in the
National Strategic Plans for the countries;
- Establish a space for exchange and sharing of good practices among parliamentarians from
different regions of Africa;
- Create synergies with civil society on Domestic Resource Mobilization for Health in Africa.
That African governments, in a multi-sectoral approach, work in concert with parliamentarians,
civil society and the private sector to implement sustainable strategies for mobilizing domestic
resources and for a significant increase in health budgets, given that a healthy nation is
indispensable to Africa’s socio-economic transformation, as envisaged in Agenda 2063.
African governments, with the aim of achieving universal health coverage by 2030, accelerate
the institutionalization of community health agents to ensure the sustainability of their actions.
This means formalizing their integration into health systems, professionalizing their training and
mobilizing the resources needed to pay them.DECLARATION_MP_Nairobi_ENG
Nairobi, July 12, 2023
DRUG abuse is now a humanitarian disaster that is inflicting harm to the young generation, perpetuating violence and poverty especially among the low-income and vulnerable communities, health stakeholders have said.
Speaking to NewsDay, Community Working Group on Health executive director Itai Rusike, said there is need to focus on social support structures.
“We can only solve our current problems that have resulted in the surging drug abuse, overdose and deaths through a public health approach. The government should invest in proven services and care to address substance abuse and mental health needs,” he said.
Rusike said there is need to also invest in youth-friendly drug rehabilitation and counselling services instead of placing the burden of care on families who lack information and tools to respond to the scourge.
“Families should get greater support from government and other stakeholders to promote communication and to help those facing drug abuse challenges. We need to prioritise prevention of drug abuse and tackle the drivers of drug abuse.
“The root cause of drug abuse in Zimbabwe is lack of jobs and enterprise opportunities, recreation facilities and opportunities for young people to participate in decisions affecting their lives,” said Rusike.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa said government would come up with tougher laws to deter drug dealers from preying on youths.
For Youths by Youths team leader, Wilbert Jena, said there was need to continue raising awareness against drug and substance use through different strategies including youth friendly strategies.
To bring together CSOs that are working on GFF focus areas to review the GFF processes in Zimbabwe. Reaffirming our commitment to the GFF processes in Zimbabwe our individual, organizational and collective roles and responsibilities.
The CWGH Director, Mr. Itai Rusike, was invited to and attended a panel discussion on domestic health financing in Africa with the theme “Advancing Health Financing Reforms through Inclusive Dialogue: National Health Financing Dialogue in SADC Countries”. The event was attended by Ministers of Health, policymakers, development partners, and other CSOs. It took place on May 25th, 2023, in Switzerland.In his words he said “We are pleased to have had the opportunity to hold a productive dialogue meeting in partnership with the Parliament of Zimbabwe, civil society, and the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists. Our delegation from civil society included representatives from various constituent groups from across the country, as well as traditional leaders who serve as custodians of primary health at the community level, and community health workers who have a direct interface with the community. In Africa, community health workers play a crucial role as trusted team for health interests. The media was also invited to this meeting to help prioritize health stories and understand health financing processes. We have come together to issue a joint statement that we hope to present at the international dialogue. It is important for Zimbabwe to continue holding inclusive high-level national dialogues, and we look forward to further follow-up from Parliament and the media. Any support to push for this national level effort would be greatly appreciated.” Watch the video