A high level delegation from the African Development Bank (AfDB) has arrived in Malawi for a two-week long consultative mission to Southern African Development Community (SADC) region to validate its strategy for Quality Health Infrastructure in Africa 2021-2030.
The strategy aims to support African countries accelerate the development of quality health infrastructure, and ensure that citizens receive health services they need without financial hardship thereby contributing towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 3) and the Africa Agenda 2063.
The development of the strategy followed a call by the Governors of the Bank at their Annual Meetings in August 2020, in which a request was made to the Bank to define its role in addressing Africa’s health infrastructure deficits, drawing on its core expertise in infrastructure development.
Coming against the backdrop of COVID-19 Pandemic, the request recognised the centrality of health to improving the quality of life of Africans and enabling them to achieve their full potential.
Covid-19 pandemic created equality in seeking health care in Africa. Both, the rich and the poor remain in the country for medication, which demands member countries invest in health.
Speaking on arrival in Lilongwe over the weekend, AfDB Director for Human Capital Development and Youth and Skills Development, Dr Martha Phiri, said the bank serves Africans and Africans need to be included in the process of developing the strategy.
Phiri disclosed that in an effort to seek inputs from member countries, the bank has scheduled a number of meetings on the side-lines of the ongoing SADC meeting of ministers held in Lilongwe where it is expected to consult with SADC Ministers of Health, Development Partners in Health Sector and Non-Governmental Organisations operating in the Health care space, among other stakeholders.
“All the initiatives at the Bank are relevant to Africans and this being a health strategy, it is very important to seek their inputs into it and check if it meets the needs of Africans before presenting it to the Board of Directors in December 2021,” she said.
The consultations are simultaneously taking place in SADC and ECOWAS, before ECAS, Central Africa and North Africa.
In Malawi, the Mission will also interact with beneficiaries of AfDB Health Infrastructure project in Mzuzu, Salima, Blantyre and Phalombe where the bank is supporting the construction of the district hospital.