TWC Health

Many developed countries have been successful at combating most known diseases or at least reduced their fatality through scientific interventional diagnostic methods, drugs and radiation treatments. There are social- economic programs aimed at providing good nutrition to infants, children and to support jobless individuals and families to be able to afford a basic healthy living. After all, a healthy society is as a result of what is ingested among many other factors. Changing lifestyles are due largely to awareness through public education or the lack thereof.

There are research institutions in almost all areas of healthcare and are carried out in developed countries around the clock 24/7. Thousands of these institutions also serve as platforms for healthcare delivery and most of the times attract volunteer patients for drugs and treatment trials, thousands of colleges and other institutions turn out hundreds of thousands of medical professionals and adjunct workers each year who work in different fields but with the same healthcare goals and finally there is a real rule of law that holds professionals who are derelicts accountable!

Third World Countries (TWC) and Africa in particular are facing great challenges in many areas if not all of the strides stated above. The reverse of what pertains to developed countries in healthcare delivery holds true. The underlying factor is that Africa’s economies are declining due primary to poor unsustainable agricultural practices (most African countries are agricultural-based economies with over 63% of its workforce being farmers out of which under 1% identifying themselves as commercial scale farmers) due to erratic climatic conditions, undulating terrain of farm lands, lack of improved crop seeds and improved breeds of farm animal, poor management and distorted marketing channels, lack of business credit/incentives and sometimes inadequate/poor governmental support and policies.

Economies in Africa are heavily inundated with problems; the irony is that most of these problems are very basic like, food, clothing, shelter and even just a common elementary education for most of its populations. Corruption in government continues unabated.  The privileged few who manage the economy sometimes in their personal and self-interests misdirect resources meant for meaningful projects into their off-shore accounts.

IBRD credit projects and programs meant to revamp the economies of slipping  countries are often misread and misinterpreted and funds are applied in such a way that does not make many of the projects viable after the project expires and a “good” report have been generated on the backs of unsuspecting and innocent hard workers. The aggregate and culminating effect of such acts of despondency is a decelerating and negative economic growth. The health sector of every economy cannot be divorced from the mainstream economy and so as governments deteriorate so is their health delivery system and vice-versa.  The health- needs in most of these African countries are dire, in spite of this however; countries that have high rates of infection of diseases are underplaying the magnitude of the diseases’ escalation and devastation. This is because health spending per capita for most third world countries is below $2.00. Over 90% of rural and sub urban health delivery systems are governmental, and 80% of these institutions are either improperly manned or understaffed.

Over 50% of African economies have a GDP per capita below $300 with nearly no viable alternative options and room for expansion unless famine and disease like HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis etc are brought under practical control. 

A recent report by the World Health Organization (2010 Report on Trade, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy & Health) states that life expectancy growth of nine years was attained in Africa during 1960 and 1990; this increase in life expectancy was to add about 1.7% to 2.7% a year to the per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Unfortunately however, according to the report, the HIV/AIDS endemic is reversing the gains. The report concludes that HIV alone may subtract an additional 1% a year from GDP economic growth from some sub-Saharan African countries owing to the continuing loss of skilled and unskilled workers in the prime of life. In South Africa according to the same report; it is estimated that HIV/AIDS will suppress GDP by as much as 17% over the next decade.  

Many countries have been successful at combating most of these killer diseases or at least reducing their death toll through drug administration, changing lifestyles and public education. 

The rate of infection and fatality of diseases vary greatly from different perspectives with different countries; however, Africa’s situation can be seen from all perspectives and in different spectrum. The situation is compounded by lack of the political will, shortage of highly trained manpower, the channel and resources to cope with the seemingly indomitable challenge. These perennial problems trigger worries for many people and incite fear culminating in lack of hope for the survival of the “Dark Continent “during the coming century. 

CdcAfrica through the magnanimity of its partners, other nongovernmental agencies and the US Government will endeavor to restore the lost hope one nation at a time. Frustrations within the African healthcare delivery systems have become a disincentive to Africa’s prospective medical students who pay very high cost1 for their training.  

Infection rates are high, mortality rates are high, the average life span is lower than the rest of the world, standard of living is dropping, many children are left as orphans, many unborn babies at risk, and many now believe there is no HOPE!