Currently, one of the fundamental health problems affecting the African continent is the marked privatization of health services on the continent, with more than 90% of the infrastructure available. This greatly limits the population's access to medical care and means that prevention and diagnosis do not meet the minimum recommended standards.
The World Health Organization (WHO) held its 73rd meeting of the Committee for Africa on August 28 in Botswana. The meeting is taking place in a context in which Africa has been affected by numerous development projects, mainly in the areas of health, the fight against hunger and the combined effects of climate change and medical coverage.
It is in WHO’s interest to review the public health situation in Africa, especially specifying its regions in terms of level of development, in order to plan new measures and initiatives to face the new challenges, as well as to recover the objectives set in previous agendas that could not be met.
In this regard, Mokgweetsi Masisi, president of Botswana, proposed taking what was done during the pandemic in terms of collaboration and solidarity as a guide and precedent for the bilateral agendas to be drawn up at the meeting.
"We are facing a multiplicity of problems, worsening poverty, humanitarian crises, food insecurity... that negatively impact our health and well-being", said Mokgweetsi Masisi.
A future where every African can enjoy a life of better health & well-being is our goal. WHO is driving the #health agenda on the continent. Working with 47 Member States, WHO staff are united in creating a healthier, better future together ���� https://t.co/EUPxqC1DOI— WHO African Region (@WHOAFRO) August 28, 2023
On the other hand, other authorities present at the conclave highlighted concrete examples of institutional integration such as those between WHO and the Health Department of the African Union (AU) Commission, which, according to Ambassador Minata Samaté Cessouma, AU Commissioner for Health, Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development, has been “a fundamental pillar for the implementation of health programs, the Sustainable Development Goals and the aspiration of the AU’s Agenda 2063.”
Today, among the fundamental health problems affecting the African continent is the marked privatization of health services on the continent, with more than 90 percent of the infrastructure available, which greatly limits the population’s access to medical care and means that prevention and diagnostics do not meet the minimum recommended standards.
There is also deep hospital corruption, which, although not very visible, is as much a problem as the shortage of technical and human resources.
It was such joy & privilege to meet and share light moments with Ugandans who travelled to Botswana from all over Africa for the 73rd Session of WHO Regional Committee & those who live and work in Botswana. A great highlight of the whole meeting. It was all laughter and joy. pic.twitter.com/5L0QDovreg— Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng Ocero (@JaneRuth_Aceng) August 29, 2023
Many of the universal health services in the continent have some kind of participation of international aid. That is why meetings as important as this one are held to enable national governments to promote autonomous and sustainable medical development.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the WHO, in his speech stressed the importance of being decisive in addressing medical needs, where the priority should be directed towards primary health care, as well as the design of health services with broad and universal coverage.
In this context, reference was made to the decisive and positive steps that Africa has taken to reduce the number of people infected with AIDS, increase the life expectancy of those infected, and achieve an acceptable quality of medical care and education campaigns. This example should be extended to the fight against tropical diseases, which have increased their infection rate in Africa.