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Health financing for universal health coverage in Sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review

Ifeagwu, SC; Yang, JC; Parkes-Ratanshi, R; Brayne, C; (2021) Health financing for universal health coverage in Sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review. Global Health Research and Policy , 6 , Article 8. 10.1186/s41256-021-00190-7. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Universal health coverage (UHC) embedded within the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, is defined by the World Health Organization as all individuals having access to required health services, of sufficient quality, without suffering financial hardship. Effective strategies for financing healthcare are critical in achieving this goal yet remain a challenge in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). This systematic review aims to determine reported health financing mechanisms in SSA within the published literature and summarize potential learnings. METHODS: A systematic review was conducted aligned with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) reporting guidelines. On 19 to 30 July 2019, MEDLINE, EMBASE, Web of Science, Global Health Database, the Cochrane Library, Scopus and JSTOR were searched for literature published from 2005. Studies describing health financing approaches for UHC in SSA were included. Evidence was synthesised in form of a table and thematic analysis. RESULTS: Of all records, 39 papers were selected for inclusion. Among the included studies, most studies were conducted in Kenya (n = 7), followed by SSA as a whole (n = 6) and Nigeria (n = 5). More than two thirds of the selected studies reported the importance of equitable national health insurance schemes for UHC. The results indicate that a majority of health care revenue in SSA is from direct out-of-pocket payments. Another common financing mechanism was donor funding, which was reported by most of the studies. The average quality score of all studies was 81.6%, indicating a high appraisal score. The interrater reliability Cohen's kappa score, κ=0.43 (p = 0.002), which showed a moderate level of agreement. CONCLUSIONS: Appropriate health financing strategies that safeguard financial risk protection underpin sustainable health services and the attainment of UHC. It is evident from the review that innovative health financing strategies in SSA are needed. Some limitations of this review include potentially skewed interpretations due to publication bias and a higher frequency of publications included from two countries in SSA. Establishing evidence-based and multi-sectoral strategies tailored to country contexts remains imperative.

Type: Article
Title: Health financing for universal health coverage in Sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s41256-021-00190-7
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1186/s41256-021-00190-7
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: Health financing, Sub-Saharan Africa, Systematic review, Universal health coverage
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10126524
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