Universal health care: WHO to provide $1m of aid to Seychelles
The World Health Organisation (WHO) will provide assistance to Seychelles worth around $1million to improve access to quality essential health services for over two years under a work plan signed on Monday.
As part of WHO’s plans to support the overall health development agenda, every two years the organisation makes available a framework worth an agreed-upon sum of money to all member countries. For Seychelles, the framework details priorities within the health sector that needs to be addressed. These are identified by the health ministry.
The assistance will help Seychelles address the lack of expertise required within the country to respond to health needs through the implementation of four main programmes.
Other than improving universal health coverage, the fund shall be used to address health emergencies, achieve health and wellbeing for all Seychellois and residents in the country, and support innovations, research and technology in the sector.
The Biennial Work Plan for 2022 and 2023 was signed by Seychelles’ health minister Peggy Vidot and the interim WHO representative in the island nation, Susan Tembo.
“There are still a number of issues with universal health coverage which we are working on. As we are still going through a health emergency, the funds allocated within the biennial will also assist us with our health programme that speaks about health emergency, not only with COVID but other health emergencies that may arise,” said Vidot.
The fund will further support the budget received by the health ministry from the Seychelles government.
The four programmes are in line with WHO’s 13th general programme of work for 2019 through to 2023 which aims at achieving universal health coverage, better protection against health emergencies and better health and well-being for three billion people by 2023.
“In addition to the funding through the signing of this work-plan today, WHO remains committed to providing additional financial and technical support to implement other strategies and innovations to support Seychelles to achieve health growth. WHO reaffirms its commitment to continue to support Seychelles both financially and technically to strengthen its capacity,” said Tembo.
The COVID-19 pandemic has put lot of pressure on the health sector of Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean. The island nation with a population of almost 100,000, has recorded a total of 38,121 positive COVID-19 cases according to figures released last week by the Ministry of Health.
Seychelles has currently 1,226 active cases and recorded 157 COVID related deaths since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020.
The island state’s citizens enjoy free universal healthcare and the government pays for overseas treatment for persons who are not able to receive treatment in local health care facilities and have exhausted all treatment options in the country.