KAMPALA (Xinhua) --
The East African Community Heads of State
retreat on infrastructure, health financing and
development opened on Thursday in Kampala with President
Yoweri Musveni challenging his counterparts to invest
more in the health sector and reduce expenditure on
importing drugs and treatment abroad.
said the region was spending millions of dollars on
transporting patients, especially to India, as well as
importing raw materials that are used by pharmaceuticals
regard, we need to learn and apply lessons from emerging
economies such as India, whose total healthcare industry
revenue is expected to increase from 110 billion U.S.
dollars in 2016 to 372 billion dollars in 2022 in
response to deliberate investments in telemedicine,
manufacturing of medicines and health technologies,
medical tourism, health workforce training and risk
pooling/health insurance, among others,” Museveni said.
“Deepening and Widening Regional Integration through
Infrastructure and Health Sector Development in the EAC
Partner States”, the summit is being attended by
President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, John Pombe Magufuli
of Tanzania and Salvar Kiir of South Sudan. Rwanda and
Burundi sent representatives.
increase in life expectancy for the people in the region
from 51 years in 2005 to 61 years in 2016, Museveni said
several health challenges need to be addressed.
“There is a
growing burden of non-communicable diseases such as high
blood pressure, diabetes and cancers; high prevalence of
communicable diseases such as HIV/AIDS, Malaria and
Tuberculosis; maternal, neonatal and nutritional
complications; road and other accident related injuries;
epidemics such as Ebola, marburg and even resistance to
antibiotics,” Museveni said.
also hinted that there was need for the EAC countries to
develop infrastructures such as roads, railways and ICT
in order to boost regional trade.
rest of Africa continues to register slow growth, EAC is
the fastest growing region. This is partly due to
solving this bottleneck of communication by investing
heavily in infrastructure.” he said.