Poverty and health: a Strategy for the African Region: report of the Regional Director
Abstract1. The paradox of the African Region is the extreme and increasing poverty of its people who face various forms of deprivation (ill-health, illiteracy, unemployment, inadequate housing, poor governance, etc.) in a land so richly endowed with natural resources. This paradox is increasingly visible in the light of the changes in the world poverty profile: white poor people in Africa represented only 16% of the world's poor in 1985, this proportion had risen to 31% by 1998. In the next 20 years, poverty is likely to decline in every other part of the world except in Africa where a dramatic increase is projected. 2. Many policies and strategies have been adopted in the health sector in the recent past in order to improve the health status of people in developing countries in general and in the African Region in particular. The most recent of these was the Health-for-all Policy for the 21st Century, adopted by the 49th session of the Regional Committee for Africa. The health-for-all policy aims to significantly improve the health status of African people by promoting healthier lifestyles, preventing the occurrence of disease, increasing life expectancy at birth and reducing mortality. It also aims to arrest the increasing morbidity due to malaria, TB and HIV/A1DS. 3. Health constitutes a strong entry point for poverty reduction and economic growth. In this context, ibis strategy provides a framework of analysis and interventions at three levels: (a) increasing advocacy and mobilization of all stakeholders inside and outside the health sector; (b) implementing health systems reform ta redirect interventions towards the poor; and (c) targeting the priority needs of the poorest with specific interventions that ensure universal access to basic health services. 4. The Regional Committee is invited to examine the proposed strategy and give orientations for its implementation consistent with national health policies.
Regional Committee for Africa, 52. (2002). Poverty and health: a Strategy for the African Region: report of the Regional Director. World Health Organization. Regional Office for Africa. http://www.who.int/iris/handle/10665/95977
DescriptionRegional Committee for Africa Fifty-second session Harare, Zimbabwe, 8–12 October 2002, Provisional agenda item 8.4
Gov't Doc #AFR/RC52/11
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