For the past several months, West Africa has been plagued by an unprecedented Ebola epidemic, which continues to grow and is quickly becoming an international health threat. We know how to stop the virus, the challenge is to strengthen the current system. Fortifying the global health system will be difficult - mobilizing the international community through financial and technical assistance, educating populations and other public health efforts are all needed to curb the epidemic.
The Government of Senegal is committed to the principle of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and providing essential basic health services to its citizenry. Through the leadership of the Senegal Ministry of Health, we have spent the past couple of years performing important research and planning designed to help the nation scale services with the goal of eventually reaching UHC. This work has included not only ramping up the services the government provides, but also improving the planning, administration and monitoring of the specific health interventions we implement so that we are constantly adapting and improving. This includes providing a free essential health services to all children, providing women and elders with a set of health services at no cost and improving the ability of our health insurance organizations and community based health service providers to help realize our dream of universal health coverage for all Senegalese citizens.