How would you improve healthcare in your country?

June 29, 2021 1318 views 3 comments 2 minutes reading time
How would you improve healthcare in your country?

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed long-standing gaps in many African healthcare systems. Even before the pandemic a number of countries across the continent, such as Sierra Leone, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo, consistently ranked high among the nations with the worst healthcare systems in the world.

Access to healthcare is hampered by a number of challenges. According to a survey done by Afrobarometer, one in five Africans lack much-needed healthcare because of the unaffordability of medical services and inaccessibility of clinics and hospitals. Rural residents, the unemployed, and the less educated are more likely to be affected by these problems. Out of those who are able to access health service providers 42% either have to wait a long time or don’t get the care they need, while some have to pay bribes

In the same survey by Afrobarometer, it was found that health is second among the problems that Africans want their governments to address. There has been improvement in healthcare in some countries, however, Africans in several others believe that the situation has remained the same or worsened. What will it take to improve healthcare across the continent?

What do our readers think?

We got a comment from Thabisile who says,” [The healthcare system is] very bad. Our hospitals are full and frontline workers are also trying their best to limit the number but most people who go to the government healthcare don’t get the same service as those in private healthcare”

We asked Dr. Githinji Gitahi, The Group CEO of Amref Health Africa for his perspective.

For another perspective, we spoke to Catherine Kyobutungi, the Executive Director of the African Population and Health Research Center.

How would you improve healthcare in Africa? Let us know your thoughts and comments below, and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

The data for this debate was obtained courtesy of our partner organisation Afrobarometer.

Image by World Bank Photo Collection via Flickr

Comments

LM
We need to stem the braindrain of talented doctors leaving to work overseas. Our governments invest millions in training them only to see them go to better paid jobs in other countries.

JK
Here in Tanzania we need investment in key infrastructure and putting a stop to corruption.

PJ
A tiny percentage of population in Africa ordinarily seek care from health facilities. And yet, we erroneously invest majority of Health development resources there. I concur with with CEO's AMREF & AHPRC that the focus should be on (a) developing the cost-effective primary health care (PHC) system in its broad sense - including heath promotion & disease prevention, & systems that assure access to other basic needs (e.g. clean water, sanitation, food security, shelter, basic education, etc); ((b) resuscitate public health through re-introduction of public health technicians (PHT)who used to work in and with communities to assure protection of water sources, every rural household had vented pit latrine, every child was taken for vaccination, every food outlet met public health standards, etc. PHTs used to work with other same level multi-sectoral cadres at community level, e.g. agricultural extension workers. Since evidence shows that other sectors make a greater contribution to sustainable health development than health sector adoption & development of well led & coordinated multi-sectoral approach is a must. (c) As Ms Rose Nabi Deborah Karimi Muthuri research at the University of Pretoria indicates, everything should be done to ensure happiness (wellbeing) of multi-sectoral workforce at the coal-face of community health development is optimised at all times.