EAST AFRICA ATTEMPTING TO INCREASE ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE

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Health ministers from a number of East African nations are to take part in a conference in Uganda, to discuss health financing, and, specifically, strategies to make health services more affordable to the poor. The Fair and Sustainable Health Financing Conference aims to ensure that all individuals in the region have access to effective and efficient public health services.

A number of international charities will also take part in the event, including Save The Children, which is hoping to help influence the development of health policies in Africa. The charity will lobby against the use of cost-recovery mechanisms in health services -- such as charging user fees -- because it claims that such measures exclude the poor from the system and especially impact children.

The conference is being supported by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and will include participants from Ethiopia, Kenya, Southern Sudan, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.