To decolonize global health, there must be a concerted and collaborative effort between international funders and African governments, wrote Amujae Leader Dr. Adaeze Oreh in an All Africa article co-authored with Dr. Ifeanyi Nsofor, the Director of Policy and Advocacy at Nigeria Health Watch.
Referencing an open letter published in the journal Nature Medicine that questioned why a recent grant awarded by the US President’s Malaria Initiative “funded several institutions in the USA, the UK and Australia to support African countries in malaria control and elimination, and not a single African institution,” Dr. Oreh and her co-author stressed that inequities in global health programs would not be resolved unless international funding organizations made greater efforts to directly involve local communities and institutions in addressing the problems that affect them.
Looking at Africa more specifically, the authors said that national governments and the African Union (AU) also have equally important roles to play when it comes to addressing and dismantling the structures that contribute to, and reinforce, inequity in healthcare systems.
To establish stronger, fairer healthcare systems, the article outlined measures that African leaders and governments could take. These included better-coordinated trade among AU Member States, greater prioritization to build up local capacity, and making stronger efforts to combat corruption. Foreign governments also have a role to play in supporting African countries in these efforts, noted Dr. Oreh and Dr. Nsofor.
Recognizing the enormous challenges facing healthcare systems around the world, the authors reiterated their call to action for African leaders:
“Leaning in, restructuring partnership conversations and taking greater responsibility for the funding of some of these global health programs to ensure dignity for our people.”
Read the full article, published in All Africa, here.