Universal Health Coverage: Inspiring Vision Steadily Taking Shape

Since the announcement by the Head of State, stakeholders have redoubled efforts for citizens with health challenges to be attended to wherever they are and at affordable rates.

Health, it is said, is wealth. Incumbent President Paul Biya has been unwavering in giving his fellow compatriots the indispensable socio- economic development tool.

The current term of office which is drawing to an end has been one marked by sustained efforts to ensure that Cameroonians with health challenges access related services at affordable rates.

Among the many lot of measures taken has been the revolutionary Universal Health Coverage announced by President Paul Biya during his state of the nation’s address on December 31, 2017. When the Head of State told his fellow compatriots that, “Our country’s health map is getting denser each year, with the construction of about one hundred health centres, sub divisional medical centres and district hospitals,” this sounded like chest-beating.

But when he proceeded with the commitment that, “We will continue our efforts to provide quality and universal healthcare to our population,” analysts could already see a resolve of ensuring healthy Cameroonians to lead the economy to emergence; one of the driving forces of the soon-to-elapse term of office.

Telling the population that, “In this regard, I have instructed the Government to finalize discussions on ways to progressively establish a universal health coverage system,” translated the determination of Mr Biya in walking his inspiring talk.

Since then, government has been working tooth and nail to live up to expectation. Some Members of Government alongside health officials in the country on June 5, 2018, discussed and endorsed the first phase of the Universal Health Coverage Plan.

As a matter of fact, the strategy indicates the targeted groups and registration methods for potential beneficiaries. In effect, the first phase of the Universal Health Coverage, officials say, targets over 22 million people with particular attention on children and pregnant women.

Practically, the operation consists in subsidizing vaccination healthcare services for children from zero to five years, pediatric care for children from zero to 15 years as well as gynecology/obstetrics problems for pregnant women. Major life-threatening ailments like HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, cancer, dialysis, schistosomiasis, among others are equally on programme.

Stakeholders disclosed in mid- 2018 when the first phase was endorsed that the strategy could gulp up to FCFA 334, 765,241, 460 in 2019. Innovative about the plan is the proposed roll number format of the beneficiary registration card. This, with the pious hope of guaranteeing the uniqueness of the card holder, while at the same time taking into consideration the long-term growth of the population and community.

From the foregoing, there are visible signs that the inspiring vision of President Paul Biya is fast taking shape. With the manifest will and the determination of government to move the idea from vision to concrete reality, logical hitches like insufficient means are worth surmounting.

More so as the Head of State has already set clear development objectives for his country and obviously needs a healthy population to attain them.

Cameroon has as target to attain a middle-income status by 2035 and an irreversible bend has been negotiated with the Growth and Employment Strategy Paper. All these revolve on initiating and execu-

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