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Liberia is a shining example but others failed to see the light

Despite the wonderful speech by the President of Liberia, the Millennium Development Goals discussion yesterday was disappointing.

No-one mentioned the need to make healthcare free at the point of use (for example, when a mother arrives at a health clinic, with her sick child). We lobbied hard and countries such as Cameroon, Burundi and Niger promised they would raise the point. But unfortunately the discussion started very late, by which time the majority of health ministers had left (some to a great Brazilian party apparently…).

What does it mean? It means that despite the overwhelming evidence for the need to remove health user fees and despite the growing global support on this issue, the World Health Assembly remains timid despite  enormous pressure.

We have won many battles on health user fees, but the war is not over.

Read my first blog on the World Health Assembly meeting.

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