Health Care in Africa

Africa Cannot Stop Poverty Without More Health Workers

Africa faces the daunting problem of eliminating poverty and diseases made worse due to the lack of an effective health care workforce. There is not enough attention placed on the proper training of doctors, nurses, and other health service personnel. AIDS has killed thousands of health care workers and some of the physicians are migrating to richer countries in pursuit of their own career development. This article suggests different measures to deal with this issue, such as increasing doctors’ salaries and benefits, offering training and support for community and home caregivers and improving health workplace safety, among others. It stressed that Africa must “invest in lives to save lives.”

Physicians for Human Rights. “Africa Cannot Stop Poverty without More Health Workers.” Physicians for Human Rights. 17 June 2005. 24 July 2009.

I Will Rebuild the Health Care System — Zimbabwe Minister of Health & Child Welfare

According to United Nations statistics, more than 4,000 people have died due to Zimbabwe’s recent struggle with the cholera epidemic. Harare Central Hospital (closed in November 2008 due to lack of equipment, drugs, and health care workers) has now re-opened and is fully operational. This interview with Henry Madzorera, Zimbabwe’s health minister touches on very important issues, like how Zimbabwe is working with UNICEF and the World Bank to rehabilitate health care infrastructure, and his focus on educational campaigns to improve household hygiene. Madzorera makes note of the fact that there are currently no funds for the health sector, which is why they are relying on international partners for funding. Rural health facilities are at a complete decay, so they are currently putting more attention on providing personnel, drugs and equipment to rural areas, and then plan to upgrade their facilities.

Henry Madzorera. “I will rebuild the health care system — Zimbabwe Minister of Health & Child Welfare.” Harare Tribune. 6 Apr 2009. 24 July 2009.

The Failing Health System in Sudan

In order for a patient to receive adequate treatment anywhere in the world, it is important to reference his or her medical history. In Sudan, many specialists don’t inquire about the medical history of a patient, which then leads to problems regarding appropriate prescriptions. Sometimes doctors prescribe medications that are unavailable in Sudan, and the patient is then required to travel to Egypt and Saudi Arabia. However, if poverty restricts a patient’s ability to travel or afford the medication, they continue to suffer. In addition to the lack of prescription drugs and their high cost, many hospitals in Sudan lack hospital supplies necessary for providing proper medical care for patients, and as a result, patients need to pay for almost everything needed for their medical treatment, thus placing a heavy burden on their families.

Mohamed A. Latif, Amgad A. “The failing health system in Sudan.” Sudan Tribune. 11 Mar 2007. 24 July 2009.

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