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An Interview with Carl Manlan

Summary:
PS: At the Back to Health event, you will participate in a panel on the economics of universal health coverage. You have argued that Africa needs to shift from donor- to investor-funded health-care programs. To attract the needed investment, new innovations must reflect a “fundamentally new approach to health care, which integrates it with financial inclusion, social protection, and employment opportunities.” What steps should governments take to spur the market-creating, investment-driven approach you have in mind?Carl Manlan: As the pandemic has made clear, health is a powerful determinant of socioeconomic development. Countries’ ability to push through headwinds – or recover lost ground – depends on their ability to draw a line connecting the health of their

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PS: At the Back to Health event, you will participate in a panel on the economics of universal health coverage. You have argued that Africa needs to shift from donor- to investor-funded health-care programs. To attract the needed investment, new innovations must reflect a “fundamentally new approach to health care, which integrates it with financial inclusion, social protection, and employment opportunities.” What steps should governments take to spur the market-creating, investment-driven approach you have in mind?

Carl Manlan: As the pandemic has made clear, health is a powerful determinant of socioeconomic development. Countries’ ability to push through headwinds – or recover lost ground – depends on their ability to draw a line connecting the health of their people to the health of their economiesThis means that better health must be regarded not as a positive potential upshot of structural transformation, but as a pillar of economic-recovery plans.

In Africa’s case, this should come in the form of efforts to enable market-creating innovations in health care. Such efforts must include investment in physical infrastructure and human capital. They must also include measures to improve the business environment for micro, small, and medium-size enterprises (MSMEs), thereby enabling them to expand their market access and boost employment along value chains, especially in the agricultural sector.

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