Coronavirus (1353) Soaring cases and little vaccination: A COVID-19 Middle East snapshot (2)

22 August, 2021

You read stuff like this, 'A fresh surge of COVID-19 cases across the Middle East and North Africa is presenting a major challenge to outdated, underfunded, and short-staffed healthcare systems, and driving home just how serious a problem global vaccine inequity really is' and you are moved to wonder why LMICs fail to prioritise healthcare?. 

We wonder why all LMICs will simply just mortgage the healthcare of their populations to donations and handouts?. It is clear that in some cases it may be due to longstanding wars, but the majority of these countries do not have wars. 

In the case of African countries, the African Union Declaration of 2001 (Abuja Declaration 2001) mandated African countries to allocate at least 15% of their annual budgets to Health (since 2001), but our last check shows that probably only Rwanda has met that mandate year on year. But Rwanda is not the richest country in the continent, I don't think it is even in the first three richest African countries. Globalisation was supposed to promote interdependence of countries and HICs helping LMICs but that was then (some observers say that it only made the rich richer and the poor poorer). Today there is donor fatigue because even the HICs were affected more in this covid-19 pandemic and they are looking inwards to tackle their own populations' needs, 'charity begins at home'. One wonders if the LMICs in Africa had started implementing the Abuja Declaration since the year 2001, would they still have been so dependent on the HICs?  

Joseph Ana.

HIFA profile: Joseph Ana is the Lead Consultant and Trainer at the Africa Centre for Clinical Governance Research and Patient Safety in Calabar, Nigeria. In 2015 he won the NMA Award of Excellence for establishing 12-Pillar Clinical Governance, Quality and Safety initiative in Nigeria. He has been the pioneer Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) National Committee on Clinical Governance and Research since 2012. He is also Chairman of the Quality & Performance subcommittee of the Technical Working Group for the implementation of the Nigeria Health Act. He is a pioneer Trustee-Director of the NMF (Nigerian Medical Forum) which took the BMJ to West Africa in 1995. He is particularly interested in strengthening health systems for quality and safety in LMICs. He has written Five books on the 12-Pillar Clinical Governance for LMICs, including a TOOLS for Implementation. He established the Department of Clinical Governance, Servicom & e-health in the Cross River State Ministry of Health, Nigeria in 2007. Website: Joseph is a member of the HIFA Steering Group and the HIFA working group on Community Health Workers.

Email: jneana AT