Health advocates want more funds allocated to fight against COVID-19
Health advocates want governments to urgently allocate more resources for health if they are committed towards the ongoing efforts towards the fight against Coronavirus.
Under the Global Fund Advocates Network (GFAN) Africa, the advocates also appealed to governments not to lose focus on other life-threatening diseases such as HIV, TB and Malaria, even as the spotlight is on COVID-19.
“To beat COVID-19, governments must urgently allocate more resources for health,” Gfan Africa, Thembekile Mandela Foundation and Life By Design said in a statement on Thursday.
Rosemary Mburu, Executive Director WACI Health on Thursday said that while COVID-19 has presented challenges of unprecedented magnitude, it is important that eyes are not taken off other health challenges that are equally catastrophic, and may contribute to the impact of the virus.
“As focus now is on COVID-19, understandably, we must continue to provide services and respond to the people affected with 3 diseases and those facing other health challenges. So that we sustain gains made so far, and progress further,” she said in a statement.
Mburu said communities in countries such as Kenya with weak health systems are extremely vulnerable to COVID-19, where women and girls unfairly face health challenges such as high rates of new HIV infections.
She said that healthcare systems in these particular communities often do not meet the needs of women and young girls, effectively exposing them to arising challenges.
“The Global Fund has invested heavily in HIV, TB and Malaria, yet a lot more work is needed to save lives. COVID-19 therefore, presents us at GFAN Africa with an opportunity to re-state the need for resilient and sustainable systems for health as one of the pathways towards achieving Universal Healthcare Coverage and Sustainable Development Goal 3 on the health and wellbeing for all,” she added.
While calling on global leaders, private sectors, civil society to unite and step up the fight to defeat COVID 19, GFAN Africa partners observed that the virus is now responsible for numerous deaths, untold disruption, weakened economies, and overwhelmed healthcare systems.
“This disease has an alarming impact on every aspect of society with our children no longer going to school; increased incidences of gender-based violence, and a looming shortage of condoms. We are therefore calling on our Governments in Africa to demonstrate decisive leadership and forge strong partnerships to continue to save lives,” she said.
According to the World Health Organization, every day, a child dies from malaria in Africa while Kenya is ranked 13th among the 22 high burden countries in the world that collectively contribute about 80 percent of the world’s TB cases.