During the AIDS pandemic, African governments met in Abuja, Nigeria, to address pressing health matters and challenges brought about by HIV/AIDS, Malaria, and Tuberculosis. While the declaration and plans made there were possible, not all of them were achieved, meaning most African countries still were not prepared for dealing with a pandemic. With the Covid-19 pandemic occurring just a little under 20 years since the last pandemic, the work has once again started. And while there has been an increase in healthcare spending by governments from African countries, there’s still work to do. In this article, we will take a look at how funding and investments can help curb some of the healthcare challenges they are facing, the benefits that come with funding, and solutions to healthcare problems in Africa.
Some African buildings are currently on the brink of collapse, and healthcare facilities are among buildings that are suffering. Some are abandoned and no longer function as healthcare facilities but rather unkempt buildings used by homeless people, criminals and pollution. Rebuilding and reopening them will not only result in new facilities but will also lessen the existing traffic in hospitals and clinics, as well as create employment.
Speaking of employment, Africa is plagued by unemployment, with staggering statistics from each country. Investing in developing the healthcare sector, we stand to open up employment opportunities for all. The construction industry in Africa has been hard at work ensuring that they keep up with the ever-evolving world. This means that there is a vast understanding of sustainable building, which will help rebuild these healthcare facilities. This is just one industry that will open employment opportunities once investments and funding are poured into improving the state of healthcare in Africa.
Worker shortage is another huge challenge in Africa, and even though the unemployment rates are high, there is a huge shortage of skilled and qualified workers. More investment and funding need to go into education and skills development in order to shape the people we aim to employ. Literacy is also one of the factors that are challenging African countries. According to UNESCO, on average, only 61% of adults in Sub-Saharan can read and write. This issue can be improved by providing better education and opening up more intuitions for students, not to mention identifying the right talents to head several departments attached to public healthcare.
Healthcare facilities are crippled by being unable to help all patients at all times. Shortages of medical supplies, PPEs, equipment, and medication became even more visible during the Covid-19 pandemic. This resulted in loss of lives from even within the healthcare system. Funding for more research, curation and creation of medical supplies, equipment and medication will help put Africa back on the map. We need to consider how beneficial medical services are to retaining lives, creating employment, and growing the economy.
Governance And Leadership
While some African countries have been at the forefront of the media for being able to respond well to the Covid-19 pandemic, there are many things that need to be done and addressed in order to get every country on the right path. Investing in leadership accountability and management of funds will help allocate enough resources for developing African countries and their healthcare systems.
The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) focuses on helping with the development and financing of social investment projects, infrastructure development, and many other projects that play a crucial role in South Africa's economic, social, and political growth. Apart from our core sectors, we also work in the social sector of infrastructure and education. Our role is to help support the South African government with financing and accelerating the implementation of infrastructure programmes within education. We have an integrated approach to development through planning, where we provide long-term pre-financing support and services to under-resourced municipalities. We also provide a range of financing solutions that can assist in driving development for schools in an under-resourced municipality. Lastly, we also assist in the maintenance support for infrastructure projects which is vital for economic growth.
Let’s all work together to bring African countries to a developed state.