Juba, 1 December 2017 – The Ministry of Health (MoH) with support from the World Health organization (WHO) and partners has commenced the implementation of a road map to introduce and institutionalize National Health Accounts(NHA) in South Sudan. The NHA is a framework for measuring total national health expenditures including public, private, and donors. It provides key indicators that are used to diagnose the ‘financial health’ of the health system. NHAs are the main source of data on money flows in healthcare and are used both for national and international purposes.
NHA in the South Sudan context
In South Sudan, information and evidence on performance of health systems to help managers and policy makers make an informed decision, is very limited or non-existent. As part of the efforts to build the foundations of its health system, the MoH with support from WHO and partners has developed a road map to introduce and institutionalize NHA. The NHA will provide a platform to monitor and evaluate health care interventions, policy design and implementation, and dialogue. This is a key milestone for the health sector and the first of its kind to be conducted in South Sudan.
Dr Samson Baba, Advisor to the Minister on Special Programs, underscored the importance of conducting NHA in South Sudan and noted that the MoH will use the information from the NHA for evidence based decision making and policy formulation, planning and monitoring and evaluation as the MoH and partners move towards Universal Health Coverage. He added that the NHA findings will further be used for advocacy and resource mobilization with health parliamentary committee to increase government allocation to health towards Abuja target.
WHO is committed to supporting the Ministry of Health of South Sudan to fully institutionalize the NHA. Currently WHO is supporting a 5-day training of 15 participants from Ministry of Health, Ministry of Finance and National Bureau of Statistics and partners to equip them with hands on knowledge and skills on NHA production tool and system of health accounts (SHA). WHO will provide technical support to the MoH in data collection and entry, cleaning, analysis, report writing and dissemination.
According to Mr Evans Liyosi, Country Representation a.i. for South Sudan highlighted the contribution of the National Health Accounts to achieving the common health care system goals of equity, efficiency and effectiveness of care.
The NHA will help South Sudan to track the resources as required by some of the global initiatives. These global initiatives include Universal health coverage, the Abuja Declaration 2001 on increasing government financing for health in WHO African region, the Counterpart financing for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM), the Decade of Vaccines, and Family Planning 20/20.