Many people in Africa lack adequate healthcare. According to the Guardian Global Development Network, Africa is “home to some of the fastest-growing economies in the world, yet the health and living situation for many on the continent remains dire.”
According to a 2011 study conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Bank and USAid, investing an additional $21-$36 per person on healthcare in sub-Saharan Africa would save more than 3 million lives in the year 2015. 90% of those saved would be women and children. Such an investment would also generate $100 billion in economic benefits.
The Global Forum for Health Research Meetings, held in Cape Town, South Africa during April 2012, revealed that much of the funding for health research in Africa comes from within Africa, and not from developed countries outside the continent, as is commonly believed. At Forum 2012, Bongani Mayosi, chair of South Africa’s health research committee, reported on significant health-related research across the continent while urging those researchers to do more to convert their findings into new products and treatments.
The success of African-led health research depends on systematically addressing gaps in health, science and technology, and higher education. As the article indicates, “All sectors need to be included in the resource planning for better health.” Thus, for example, although transportation infrastructure might seem to have little to do with public health, better roads “directly contribute to reduced maternal mortality.”
African-led innovation to address African health needs is one crucial response as many developed nations reduce their foreign aid budgets.
Source: Guardian Global Development Network (London), “Africa Must Turn Its Health Research Into Treatment for African People,” All Africa, June 25, 2012, http://allafrica.com/stories/201206250243.html
Student Researcher: Kaitlyn Thomson (Santa Rosa Junior College)
Faculty Evaluator: Susan Rahman (Santa Rosa Junior College)