The African Health Monitor: Health Financing in the African Region

Health is now recognized as a key aspect of human and economic development, and health financing as a major function of a health system, whose objectives are to make funding available and ensure that all have access to effective health services. Recently, participants from the African Regional Office, the WHO Headquarters in Geneva, non-profit organizations and representatives from ministries of health and finance in the Region were involved in the development of several technical and policy-related analyses and reports focusing on key aspects of health financing in the African Region. The results of this work are now available in this special issue of the African Health Monitor. There are three aspects to universal health coverage: access to all health services needed; efficient and effective quality services; and the absence of financial hardship (or financial risk protection) discussed in the second article – the use of health services should not come at the expense of other essential necessities. The aim of developing health financing systems which support the promotion of universal health coverage in Africa is explored via the case studies, analyses and lessons learned presented.