CSOs CALL FOR DOMESTIC HEALTH SECURITY FINANCING AS THE WORLD RECOVERS FROM COVID19

CSOs Call for Domestic Health Security Financing as the World Recovers from Covid-19

Civil society organisations are calling for committed and sustained funding for health security in
Uganda.

The World Health Organization defines global health security as the activities required, both
proactive and reactive, to minimize the danger and impact of acute public health events that
endanger people’s health across geographical regions and international boundaries.

The call for domestic health security funding comes barely six months after the Covid-19 pandemic
that affected billions of people globally.

In May 2023, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that Covid-19 was nolonger a public
health emergency of international concern. The declaration however did not mean that Covid-19 is
over as a global health threat.

In Uganda, apart from Covid-19, the country’s health system has in recent years been strained by the
outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease, Marburg, and rift valley fever, among others and this has exposed
system and structural weaknesses and highlighted the fact that the country must be prepared for
health emergencies through proper planning, resource allocation, accountability, multi-stakeholder
involvement, political commitment, and surveillance.

According to Kenneth Mwehonge – the Executive Director HEPS-Uganda, emphasis at country,
regional and global level should now be on preparedness and health systems strengthening. “The
COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated that the world was not well prepared to respond to global health
security threats of such magnitude. In this post Covid-19 era, governments must commit funds to
support the development of country capacities to prevent, detect & respond to both existing &
emerging global health security threats,” Mwehonge explains.

Also, available data shows that Covid-19 vaccination, and general Covid-19 response in Uganda was
largely donor funded – just as it has been with other outbreaks.
In Uganda, the health sector allocation as a proportion of total budget allocations for Financial Year
2022/2023 is 6 percent and has for a long time oscillated between 5 to 9 percent over the years and
this is significantly below the 15 percent Abuja target.

“The limited public expenditure on health means that there is high reliance on external funding. This
is challenging, unreliable and unsustainable,” observes Adella Mbabazi – a Public Health
Communication specialist. To Mbabazi; the solution lies in government committing and allocating
funds to the health sector for systems strengthening and improving the country’s potential to detect
and respond to health threats and emergencies.

As a solution to increased health sector funding, the 2023 Uganda Health Financing Progress Matrix
(HFPM) proposes that all government ministries, departments and agencies be mandated to allocate
2 percent of their budgets for health prevention and promotion activities as one of the cross-cutting
issues.

According to Mwehonge, the country needs to find innovative ways to raise funds for health security
funding – rather than relying on donors.

About Goodluck Musinguzi

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