A one-day forum on National Health Account report was recently held at Paradise Suite Hotel in Kololi.
The objectives of the forum were, among other things, to review and assess the existing resources and to evaluate health financing options.
Declaring the forum open, the deputy Permanent Secretary at the Department of State for Health, Mr. Omar Taal, lamented that the scarcity of resources is increasingly forcing countries in Africa to take stock of national health resources, review allocation patterns and ensure equitable distribution of resources.
He went on to reveal that most countries rely on Public Expenditure Reviews (PER) and not the total investment made by all the stakeholders such as relevant government sectors, households, private firms and donors.
For her part, WHO Representative in The Gambia, Mrs. Agnes Mirian Kuye, revealed that in 2003, out of 46 countries in WHO Africa Region, 15 countries spent less than 4.5 per cent of their GDP on health, adding that government expenditure in 29 countries per person per year was less than $10.
“ In addition, 31 countries are unable to meet the WHO Commission for Macro-economics and Health (CMH) recommendation of $34 per capita expenditure and 43 countries spent less than 15% target set by African Heads of State in 2001,” she pointed out.
Ms. Kuye stated that it’s only by conducting NHA that a country can determine its expenditure performance based on the level of equity in health services financing and accessibility, efficiency in use of health resources and the level of expansion in the coverage of health services, especially those targeting the poor.