Health budgets

Insufficient public investment in health systems is a major barrier to the delivery of high quality care. Without health-financing solutions, the poorest people – including women and families – are unable to access life-saving treatment and care.
Over 1/3
of total health expenditure
is paid out-of-pocket directly by household

Our take on the issue

Many health systems in sub-Saharan Africa are funded by households. As a result, poor women are forced to make a choice between receiving the health care they need and providing education or food for their children. This is not a choice that MamaYe wants women in Africa to have to make.

When the costs of essential health care are covered, for example through health insurance or other financial protection, households are protected from the out of pocket expenses that can drive them into poverty.

For this to happen there need to be adequate resources allocated for health. Transparent budgets, with clear budget lines for health, mean that those in power can be held to account for allocating and releasing resources for health. A well-resourced health system supports health workers to provide the high quality care that they want to deliver to women and children.

Countries in SSA have committed strengthening financial risk protection for the poorest, as outlined in SDG3.8 which states that by 2030 the world must achieve Universal Health Coverage.

What mamaye is doing

MamaYe advocates for more and better public spending on health.

Our combined expertise in health financing, budget analysis and evidence-based advocacy helps advocates make a strong case for public investment in reproductive, maternal, newborn and child and adolescent health.

We work at regional, country and sub-national level to build the skills of advocates to analyse health budgets and use budget evidence to hold governments to account for their health financing commitments. We support civil society engagement with the Global Financing Facility (GFF), a multi-stakeholder financing mechanism in support for Every Woman, Every Child.

We support civil society in GFF countries to track commitments and implementation of GFF investment cases, and participate in GFF Country Platforms.

In Nigeria, we've successfully supported evidence-based advocacy to ensure a family planning budget line is included within the national budget.

In Malawi, we're working in partnership with district councils and local partners to monitor health budget transparency at a district level.

In Kenya, we're building the skills of county officials and partners to understand and track their health budgets.

Good advocacy is strengthened by credible evidence and the real aim is to ensure that the citizens of a county or sub-national unit receive better quality health care.
Ibitein Modupe Fiberesima, Nigeria