Pan-African Parliament Decries Insufficient Healthcare Funding by National Parliaments


Chairperson of the Committee on Health, Hon Jean Patrice France Quirin

The Pan-African Parliament’s delegation which participated in the Global TB Caucus 4th Africa TB Summit in Nairobi, strongly criticized national parliaments for their failure to allocate sufficient funds for healthcare in their respective countries.

Hon. Jean Patrice France Quirin, Chairperson of the Committee on Health, Labour, and Social Affairs highlighted the sluggish progress made by African Union member states despite commitments like the Abuja Declaration of 2001 and the High-Level Summit in Brazzaville in July 2019. These commitments urged African countries to allocate at least 15% of their national budgets to health. However, the PAP MP lamented that health systems remain underfunded and inaccessible, particularly in rural areas.

“The health sector is the least funded in our national budgets, hindering access to essential healthcare services for our people, especially those living in rural areas”

The summit, which ran from July 24 to 28, convened parliamentary leaders and stakeholders from across the continent to tackle the growing challenges of tuberculosis (TB) and devise a political strategy for the upcoming UN High-Level Meeting on TB and beyond. Recognizing the vital role of health in driving progress and prosperity, especially in the post-Covid-19 era, Hon. Quirin emphasized the critical need for accessible healthcare services in all aspects of development.

Hon Dr Nouhou Arba. Image courtesy of PAP Media

The Pan-African Parliament has been actively engaged in advocacy and awareness-raising actions with member states to increase healthcare budgets. Additionally, alarm has been raised over the lack of progress in integrating traditional medicine, despite its untapped potential and the continent’s rich biodiversity.

At the Sixth PAP Second Ordinary Session held under the African Union Theme of the Year for 2023, “The Year of AfCFTA: Accelerating the Implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area” in June, the Committee on Health, Labour and Social Affairs called for the promotion of the use of traditional medicines in Africa with appropriate legal frameworks put in place to regulate the trade of these products. The continent’s legislative body also considered a model law on traditional medicines and discriminatory terminology in description and categorizing of African traditional medicines.

“The use of traditional medicine has several advantages. The products are affordable and accessible. They provide enormous floral, faunal, cultural and spiritual potential of the land. Based on the success of using traditional medicine to cure various diseases, some countries have developed the capacity to develop this science and integrate it into their national health systems,” said Committee Rappatour Hon Dr Nouhou Arba.

The Pan-African Parliament continues to call for renewed commitment and collaboration among national parliaments to ensure that essential healthcare services reach all citizens and combat infectious diseases, including TB, for a healthier and more prosperous Africa.







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