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Hussein Abdelbagi Akol, Vice President for Service Cluster during education transformation Summit at the opening of 77th UN General Assembly in New York [Photo by Press Unit]

South Sudan vows to allocate 15 percent of budget to health sector

The transitional unity government on Thursday said it will increase the annual budget for health from the current 7.9 percent to 15 percent in the 2023/24 fiscal budget.

 This was revealed by Hussein Abdelbagi Akol, Vice President for Service Cluster during celebrations to mark World AIDS Day in Juba.

“The government is determined to increase the annual budget allocated to the health sector in accordance with the international and regional standard in order to reduce over-dependence on foreign aid,” said Abdelbagi.

He said that the budgetary increase would be in line with the 2001 Abuja Declaration agreed upon by members of the African Union.

Abdelbagi emphasized that this pledge was supported by the 10 state governors and heads of the three administrative areas during the national conference that closed on Wednesday in the capital.

In April, South Sudan’s ministry of health said that about 174,000 people are estimated to be living with HIV/AIDS .

Adding that only 35 percent of these know their HIV status and 25 percent are receiving anti-retroviral treatment.

The HIV/AIDS prevalence rate stands at 2.1 percent, according to the 2021 spectrum projection.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said in it’s 2021 annual report that the government prior to passing of the 2021/22 fiscal budget had been allocating less than 2 percent to the health sector leaving development partners to fund 70 percent of the total health expenditure.

The Abuja Declarations and Frameworks for Action on Roll Back Malaria was a pledge made in 2001 by members of the African Union.

WHO reported in 2010 that only one African country had reached that target, while 26 had increased health expenditures and 11 had reduced it. Nine others had not had a noticeable negative or positive trend.

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