As the global deadline to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) nears, equity in health has been singled out as an accelerator to assist African countries in realising these goals and sustain them.

Despite the threats that face the attainment of equity in health, Dr. Tewabech Bishaw, the Secretary General, African Federation of Public Health Associations, said more emphasis is required on Primary Health Care as it promotes health for all by introducing greater fairness and efficiency.

Making her presentation during the 1st Amref Health Africa International Conference, Dr. Bishaw noted that this strategy needed consistent assessment to identify disparities as well as monitoring and evaluating the processes and outcomes towards narrowing these gaps.

“Primary healthcare is therefore aimed at facilitating health systems to reach their potential in bringing about equity in health development,” she added.

Equity in health in Africa not a myth but a reality

Delegates follow the proceedings of the plenary session

Although some gains have been made in attaining the MDGs, Dr. Bishaw, who is also a member of the AMREF International Board of Governors, said only a few countries in Africa with improved economic performance and good governance were likely to meet the MDGs.

“Equity in health in Africa thus need not be treated as a myth, but as an attainable component of health for all in the continent,” he said. “We need committed African leadership at country and regional levels that will be sustained beyond the term of rule of the office holders.”

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