Uganda and Rwanda are the latest countries to join the International Health Partnership and Related Initiatives.
International Health Partnership and Related Initiatives is a global program set up 18 months ago to mobilize foreign aid donors and health and development agencies to strengthen health systems in developing countries in Africa and Asia. Uganda's participation in the program will enable it to improve the quality and quantity of aid given to it, with a direct emphasis on improvements in the health sector.
Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, on Thursday, Uganda and other members of the International Health Partnership appealed to aid donors to follow through on their foreign aid commitments for health despite th global financial crisis. At a press conference to mark the start of a Geneva health summit, members said it was crucial not to cut back on spending and aid flows for health at the very moment that countries were making progress in reducing preventable illness and deaths for millions of the world's poorest people.
Dr. Margaret Chang, Director General of the World Health Organization, said health is not an expendable luxury item that can be dispensed with during a crisis. She said it is the very foundation for responding to the crisis.
Twenty-four countries and thirteen organizations have so far joined the International Health Partnership.