Civil society organizations working in the health sector, namely: Citizen Observatory for Health (OCS), Alliance for Health, MedicusMundi and NAMATI Mozambique will hold on Thursday (21 September), in Maputo, the second edition of the National Conference on Access to Health in Mozambique.

The event, which will take place at the Meliã Hotel in Maputo, aims to reflect on the financing of the health sector, taking into account its impact on access to healthcare and the guarantee of the right to health in Mozambique.

The event, which will also be broadcast live via the Zoom platform and Facebook, will be attended by representatives of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the Ministry of Health, academics, parliamentary committees and various civil society organizations working in the health sector and beyond.

This edition is taking place in a context in which the health sector is facing a variety of problems, from strikes by health professionals to the paralyzing of activities in almost all of the country’s hospitals.

Therefore, in addition to reflecting on how to respond to the crises plaguing the sector, the panels will discuss topics such as: Financing the health sector; Socioeconomic Effects of User Fees in the Public Health Sector; Presentation of the results of the National Campaign to Respect Privacy in Health Units; and Situation of Health Professionals in Mozambique: Challenges and Perspectives.

The first edition of the National Conference on Access to Health in Mozambique, organized by the Citizen Observatory for Health (OCS), between 30 June and 1 July 2022, discussed the following topics: Challenges of Policy Implementation in Times of Crisis and Minimization Strategy; Financing Options for the Health Sector; Stage of Telemedicine in Mozambique; Budget Allocated to Hospitals Centered on Covid-19 Treatment; Social Audit as a Tool for Community Empowerment; and Monitoring the Ministerial Order on the Elimination of the Clothing Barrier in Access to Health, among others.  

The conference is also expected to discuss other indicators from the 2019/20 Family Budget Survey (IOF), which show that around 45 per cent of the population in rural areas (where around 67 per cent of the Mozambican population lives) has no access to health services.

On the other hand, the annual health sector stocktaking report (2021) indicates a ratio of 17,419 inhabitants/health facility, which is 7,419 inhabitants more than recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).

In addition, the current ratio of 0.7 beds/1,000 inhabitants is around 3 times lower than that recommended by the WHO. Furthermore, around 95 per cent of health professionals are health technicians and nurses and only 5 per cent are doctors.

The same document indicates that the ratio of health professionals/1000 inhabitants (1.7 health professionals/1000 inhabitants) is below that recommended by the WHO to guarantee primary health care coverage for the population.

Over the last three decades, the country has been affected by extreme climatic events such as droughts, floods and cyclones (PDNA, 2019), which have further exacerbated the aforementioned challenges. For example, Cyclone Idai in 2019 damaged a total of 94 health facilities, of which 4 were completely destroyed and 90 partially. It is therefore hoped that thought will be given to how and where to seek funding to respond to extreme weather events for the benefit of the health sector.   

Through the Ministry of Health, which will be present at the event, it is also expected to hear Mozambique’s position on the Abuja Declaration, a document that determines the allocation of at least 15 per cent of the state budget to improve the health system, but the country has never achieved such percentage. 

To summarize, understanding that the Abuja Declaration was established as a prerequisite for improving the health systems of African countries in the long term, the data indicates that Mozambique is not moving in this direction. In short, the expenditure allocated to the sector in the last two years represents, on average, almost half of the 15 per cent assumed.

According to an analysis of the Economic and Social Plan (PES), consulted by the OCS, from 2022 to 2023 the budget allocation for the health sector in relation to total expenditure was below the 15% commitment made by the Mozambican government, averaging 8.3%. From 2022 to 2023, there was a reduction from 9.1 per cent to 7.6 per cent, a reduction of 1.5pp.

Read the full report at:

(https://www.observatoriodesaude.org/download/analise-do-plano-economico-e-social-para-avaliar-o-nivel-de-inclusao-dos-servicos-de-saude-sexual-e-reprodutiva-de-adolescentes-nas-prioridades-orcadas-no-caso-de-investimento-aprovado-em-mocambiq/)

Overall, the challenges facing the health sector are worrying. For example, according to the Health Statistical Yearbook 2021, the Maternal Mortality Rate, the Infant Mortality Rate and the Mortality Rate < 5 years were 451.6/100,000 Live Births (LB), 67.3/1000 LB and 79/1000 LB, respectively.

Therefore, the indicators and statistical data illustrated above will be discussed at the conference, in order to seek answers for improving the National Health System (SNS), which is at a very critical stage.

Zoom: https://bit.ly/ConferenciaSaudeMaputo

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