Helpdesk report: health budgets for primary health facilities

This report examines health budgets for primary health facilities in sub-Saharan Africa


The query for this report:

  • What is the recommended proportion (%) of an annual national health budget in sub-Saharan Africa for the maintenance of primary health facilities? (These are district level hospitals and below, rural and urban clinics)

From both a rapid review of the evidence available and from correspondence with experts in public health financing, it is clear that no such recommendation exists.

In light of the lack of a specific recommendation, this report presents some background information on health budgeting. It provides a brief history of health system strengthening, including the 1978 Alma Ata Declaration that called for primary health care to be included as part of a comprehensive national health system, and the 2001 Abuja Declaration, which pledged to set a target of allocating at least 15% of each national budget to improve the health sector annually. Some budgeting options are discussed and cases studies on health financing are highlighted.


Health and Education Advice and Resource Team (HEART). Helpdesk Report: Health budgets for primary health facilities. HEART, Oxford, UK (2016) 12p

Health budgets for primary health facilities

Published 15 June 2016