HEALTH SERVICES IN AFRICA: Overcoming Challenges, Improving Outcomes (HB)

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The challenges to better health services in Africa are well known: Africa lags behind all regions of the world, including other developing regions, on all indicators of better health. A recent report from the World Health Organisation for instance shows that while Africa has 20% of the world”s sick people, it has only 4% of […]

The challenges to better health services in Africa are well known: Africa lags behind all regions of the world, including other developing regions, on all indicators of better health. A recent report from the World Health Organisation for instance shows that while Africa has 20% of the world”s sick people, it has only 4% of its healthcare workers – many of them vulnerable to the high mortality rate associated with malaria and notably the AIDS epidemic. The state of investment in healthcare infrastructure is also grossly inadequate as is the efficiency of healthcare delivery. But does this need to be so? What factors are responsible for this unacceptable state of affairs? Contributors to the volume examine the evolution of healthcare services in Africa, the ongoing national, regional and continental efforts to improve the delivery of healthcare in the continent, and the direct and indirect obstacles militating against the maturation of the services and their efficient delivery. The contributors – all distinguished experts in the field,- so provide powerful personal insights and lessons learned in their current or previous work in the health sector in Africa. Some of the themes covered include clinical care and centers of excellence, healthcare finance and resource mobilization, primary health care systems and community health and preventive care and risk reduction in health. From their analyses and experience the authors articulate strategies and solutions on how to improve the quality of health services and health outcomes in the continent.____________________________________Dr. Chinua Akukwe is the Chairman of the Technical Advisory Board of the Africa Center for Health and Human Security, George Washington University Medical Center, Washington, DC., USA. He is an adjunct professor of global health and also an adjunct professor of preventive and community health at the school of public health, George Washington University. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Constituency for Africa, Washington, DC. He previously served as the Vice Chairman of the National Council for International Health, now known as the Global Health Council Washington, DC, the largest voluntary international health organization in the world. Dr. Akukwe , who is also the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the newly established Africa Center for Epidemiology and Diseases Economics Research, Abuja, Nigeria, has written extensively on HIV/AIDS, health and development issues in Africa. He is the author of two recent books on Africa: Don”t Let them Die: HIV/AIDS, TB, Malaria and the Healthcare Crisis in Africa and Beyond the Rhetoric: Essays on Africa”s Development Challenges. He is also a co-author of a recent book on AIDS Orphans in Africa and their Grandparents. Dr Akukwe developed the communicable diseases guidelines for the African Development Bank. He also developed the strategic framework and plan of action for achieving universal access to treatments for HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria for the Africa Union”s (AU) Commission of African Heads of State during the Abuja 2006 Special Summit on HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria. The Strategic Framework for Action document was approved by the African Council of Health Ministers at its April 2007 continental summit in Johannesburg, South Africa. Dr. Akukwe is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, London and a Fellow of the American College of Epidemiology. He is also a Senior Fellow on Global Health at the National Medical Association, Washington, DC.

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