Prioritising Health Systems to Achieve SDGs in Africa: A Review of Scientific Evidence

  • Colette Adhiambo WesongaEmail author
  • Benard Kulohoma
Part of the Sustainable Development Goals Series book series (SDGS)


The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide a framework for streamlining efforts towards achieving global development objectives. The SDG 3 on universal good health and well-being remains an international priority. Recent reports indicate that although progress has been made, most developing countries face health system challenges and are still far from achieving SDG 3. We examine scientific evidence to infer priorities for African states that could inform the direction and implementation of SDG 3 in Africa. The chapter focuses on shortfalls in health systems, particularly with health information systems and human resources for health. It also highlights strategies to strengthen these systems and promote sustainable capacity building. Health information systems (HIS) are important data sources for evidence-based health policymaking, research and evaluation, training and service delivery. However, inadequate provision of reliable, valid and comparable data in resource-poor settings threatens meaningful progress in realising SDG 3 targets. We review the literature and discuss progress and challenges in the collection, synthesis and use of health information, and give recommendations on improving HIS evidence in such settings. Human resource is a key component of strong and resilient health systems, without which implementation of evidence generated from HIS into meaningful practice is unachievable. We also discuss health workforce hurdles to health cooperation, coverage and training that may affect the attainment of SDG 3. Improvements in HIS and adequate capacity building will undoubtedly highlight key silences and obstacles in SDG 3 actualisation and inform health policymakers, practitioners and researchers on innovative strategies for better health in African countries.


Sustainable development Health systems Health information Health workforce 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.African Academy of SciencesNairobiKenya

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