Health Services in Africa: Overcoming Challenges, Improving Outcomes
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.