UNAIDS report defines Health Insurance Fund Program as an example to enhance self-reliance and sustainability in Africa
In its report AIDS dependency crisis: sourcing African solution, the UNAIDS says that “now is the time to build recipient ownership of development finance, strengthening existing country resources and capacities and utilizing aid in a way that contributes to the end of aid dependency for Africa. Now is the time to change the parameters of partnership—with Africa setting the agenda.” According to UNAIDS, the landscape of development co-operation has changed. Africa has seen a remarkable transformation, with an average annual growth rate of over 6 percent, a growing middle class and increasing political stability. Traditional development co-operation has not kept in pace with these changes. New partnerships should therefore focus on strengthening this change, promoting self-reliance and placing Africa in the driver’s seat. An example of this new way forward is the introduction of health insurance by, amongst others, PharmAccess and the Health Insurance Fund.
UNAIDS believes that a new approach with more equal partnerships is the way forward to effectively fight AIDS on the continent: “Enhancing African ownership of the AIDS response will further the health gains made in the past decade and will also further enhance economic growth.” Although enormous progress has been made in effectively tackling the spread of AIDS on the continent, this fight has largely depended on a small number of international funders. With decreasing international funds, UNAIDS advocates for more sustainable African solutions. “Africa’s expanding strength—economically, socially and geopolitically—provides a solid footing to begin to diffuse the dependency crisis and set a more socially sustainable agenda for AIDS. Africa can gain greater autonomy through the pursuit of a more balanced partnership with international partners in the AIDS response.”
More balanced partnerships are those that search for sustainable and innovative funding sources. In its report, UNAIDS explores positive examples. One of such example is the introduction of health insurance to enhance equity, self-reliance and sustainability by PharmAccess and the Health Insurance Fund (page 14). “Expanding access to health insurance in Africa can reduce high, and at times catastrophic, out-of-pocket expenses that especially impact poor and marginalized households,” writes UNAIDS. It emphasizes that these kinds of partnerships and ideas translate into more sustainable outcomes of country ownership and accountability.
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