Africa nation’s as whole is bedevils with poor health care system. Staring on us are huge health infrastructural deficit which weakens the health system. These deficiencies have made Africa epicenter of infectious and preventable diseases. Functional health system remains the most critical avenue to avert the spread of diseases.
I have watched with keen interest how the health system keeps deteriorating over time. It causes me to think if truly Africa nation’s is set to fix their health care system. The ailing health system beacon for accelerated input in fixing it. Several factors are attributable to the long aged poor health system in Africa.
Poor budgetary provision is a major contributory factor to a weak health system. Taking a close look at budgetary provision for health across Africa suggest the gap, loss of interest and commitment from the government. It is surprising that the budgetary provision is far less to what is obtainable in other countries of the world. Total commitment from the government is key to a vibrant and sustainable health system.
Corruption is another impediment to a productive and robust health system. Over time, funds appropriated for health find their way into private pockets. This ugly practice is part of what keeps the health system in a hopeless state. Check, and balance is critical here in addressing the nasty practice.
The health infrastructure in most Africa countries is nothing to write home about. The poor infrastructural decay depicts and grossly affect the services at the health centers. Frequently, this influence the services obtainable at the health care centers.
Training and retraining programmes for professionals in health practice is mostly inadequate. In the course of my fieldwork, I asked a midwife what she thought about respectful maternity care (RMC). She stunned her head, which implied no thought. RMC is a concept that envisaged the right of women to proper healthcare during pregnancy, labor, and postpartum services.
The massive movement of doctors from Africa toward the western world is a pointer to the weak health system. Doctors who left the shores of Africa to take up foreign appointment did so due to inadequate facilities, mass unemployment and lack of placement for residency. If this trend is not properly tackled in couples of years to come, they may likely be shortage doctors to treat patients.
Trading blames will no way help fix the health system. It's time for the government to raise from slumber. Do what is right to get the health system back on track. It may take a while to fix, however choosing the right step is very vital. Doing what is right is a panacea to revive the ailing health system in Africa.
Even as much as we look for support from the international community, it’s expedient to devise our solutions to get the health sector working. The power to fix the health sector lies in the hands of the government, citizenry and private investors. A healthy workforce will give better performance and further boost the economy.
By David Arome (Research Scientist)
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