This year’s Africa DATA Report focuses on a critical building block of development investment: health. Perhaps no other intervention is so critical to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Health and nutrition interventions save lives; they also help to achieve better educational outcomes, build a more productive workforce and drive economic gains. For Africa, a continent with a burgeoning youth population, there will need to be an increased focus on investing in human capital to drive greater development progress. Ensuring that these dividends are focused on the poorest and most vulnerable groups, and on creating decent healthcare for everyone, will be the key to achieving the Global Goals.
This report presents the latest snapshot of progress in sub-Saharan Africa on key health-related SDG indicators, both between and within countries. It highlights comparisons of outcomes and interventions across countries and the depth of inequality between the poorest 20% of the population and the richest 20%, on each health indicator assessed. The report shows that in order to achieve the SDGs, and improve the health and well-being of everyone, African governments should:
- Increase domestic investments in the health sector, working towards the Abuja commitment of spending 15% of government budgets on health, but more importantly increase per capita spending on health to a level that can provide essential services to all;
- Ensure that investments in health maximise impact for all citizens, working towards implementation of universal health coverage (UHC), but particularly that they focus greater attention on the needs of the poorest people;
- Improve transparency and accountability of government spending and procurement in health, and collect better disaggregated data on results to aid in decision making.