Health

Developed nations should invest in healthcare of poorer countries: WHO

The Addis Ababa conference from July 13 to July 16 will also pave the way for the new set of Sustainable Development Goals

 
By DTE Staff
Last Updated: Tuesday 14 July 2015

In the run-up to the International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the World Health Organization (WHO) urged countries to gradually move towards a universal health coverage.

The Addis Ababa conference started on Monday at 10 am local time (GMT+3) and will continue till July 16. It will feature plenary meetings, round table discussions, side events and bilateral meetings among political representatives of United Nations (UN) member states, institutional stakeholders, civil society representatives and delegates from several UN agencies.

WHO’s role

The UN health agency has appealed to high-income countries to invest in the healthcare sector of developing nations.

WHO, while appreciating the progress made in combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, highlighted the disparity among nations in achieving the target. Inaccessibility to healthcare services by many has also been highlighted by the agency.

WHO has urged the international community to strengthen cooperation with low-and middle-income countries so that domestic and external funds can be combined to finance the healthcare sector. The organisation will also lay stress on the importance of increasing the efficiency of financing and reducing the cost of inputs such as medicines procured internationally.

WHO has appealed to high-income nations to achieve their target of providing at least 0.7 per cent of their Gross National Income (GNI) as Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) and 0.15-0.2 per cent for bringing about development in developing countries.

According to a 2013 data, of 28 countries that comprise the ODA, only five have met the 0.7 per cent target.

Discussion on SDGs

Participants in Addis Ababa will discuss ways to pave the way for the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) scheduled to be agreed upon in September in New York at the UN General Assembly. SDGs will build upon the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and converge with the post-2015 development agenda. MDGs will draw to a close by this year-end.

The Ethiopian conference is also expected to focus on strengthening international cooperation to build on the capacity of developing countries to improve their domestic tax policies and revenue collection. Efforts will also be made to reduce illicit financial flows and tax avoidance at the international level.

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