This session discussed the importance of health in economic development and the importance of the “public purse” to support vaccination initiatives.
Copyright UNICEF/2011/Siegfried Modola
The session offered a vibrant discussion the importance of health in economic development and the importance of the “public purse” to support vaccination initiatives.
Mr Seziberra, the session’s moderator, kicked off the discussion by expressing the belief that the economic community is an important partner as the activities of economic and health communities are complementary. For example, “lowering trade barriers is critical to increase competition and lower the price of medications in the health system.”
Mike Sebalu, of the East African Legislative Assembly, discussed the importance of a healthy community to the economic community, and it is imperative that the economic communities play a role in vaccination. He stated that “the opportunity cost if you do not invest enough in health, is death. This is too high of a price to pay.”
Agnes Soucat, from the African Development Bank, discussed the role of governments and the international community in financing health. She stated, as economies improve, governments must be prepared to take on a larger role in financing health – and expect funding from international organisations to be more catalytic.
And Gina Tambini, Pan American Health Organisation highlighted effective practices of regional communities to improve health delivery.
The highlight of the panel undoubtedly came at the end with the presentation and signing by all panellists of the “Declaration on the acceleration of the introduction of vaccines to promote and improve maternal, neonatal and child health in the African continent towards 2015: collaboration of regional economic communities in the implementation of innovative models and interventions to accelerate immunisation programmes.”