Tracking progress towards the achievement of universal health coverage: Eritrea

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Eritrea continues to take actions to translate political commitment for Universal Health Coverage (UHC) with required actions to implement identified priorities. As part of the agreed milestones the Honourable Minister of Health, Mrs. Amina Nurhussein, convened a high level meeting between top officials in the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) country team. This meeting is second of a series of meetings as part of quarterly coordination meetings. The first of was held on 15 December 2020. The recent meeting, which took place on 31 March 2021, was convened to track the progress on the actions that were agreed upon in the first meeting and to coordinate on the necessary actions for the issues that had arisen since then.

The Honorable Minister of Health welcomed everyone and elaborated that the aim of the meeting was to review the implementation progress. Dr Martins Ovberedjo, WHO Representative, thanked the Ministry of Health (MOH) and Government on behalf of WHO for their commitment to follow up on agreed milestones.

The meeting discussed key implementing challenges and their possible solutions covering various programmes including Reproductive, Maternal Newborn, Child, and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH), EPI (Immunisation), Health Systems Strengthening (HSS), Health security (health emergencies) and international health regulations (IHR) among others. The highlights of the areas covered are outlined below:

Leadership and governance: Finalization of the National Health Policy and the Essential Health Care Package (EHCP), strengthening the supportive supervision to the lower level health facilities and development of the new national health sector strategic development plan.Health services delivery: Updating and implementing the priority areas of the National Action Plan for Health Security (NAPHS).

Health workforce: Updating of the Human Resources for Health strategic plan.Health information: Continued implementation of the integrated African health observatory, planning and implementation of the for the Harmonized Health Facility Assessment (HHFA) and implementation of data quality assessment.

Medical products, vaccines and technologies: Tracking the implementation of the EPI programme activities which include the EPI programme review and development of the next comprehensive Multi-Year Plan (cMYP) for immunisation.

Health financing: Reviving the efforts to build capacity and implement the National Health Accounts (NHA) The Honourable Minister of Health ensured that there were dedicated senior MOH personnel to lead in the implementation of the action points agreed upon in this meeting as part of the collaborative efforts with WHO.
At the end of the meeting the Honourable Minister of Health thanked everyone for participating in the meeting and remarked that it was a fruitful meeting. In turn Dr Martins Ovberedjo congratulated Her Excellency, the Minister of Health and Government for efficient management and implementation, as well as their continued commitment to implement UHC priorities. The WHO team outlined that all recommendations made will be acted upon collaboratively. The meeting reaffirmed commitment to implement the agreed upon milestones.

For Additional Information or to Request Interviews, Please contact:

Francis Regis Magombo MD, Health Systems Adviser Email: Work Phone: +291 1 114171/114167 Cell phone: +2917723408 GPN Ext: 34405