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Healthcare Delivery in Africa: Issues, Choices, Challenges and Opportunities

African Renaissance, July/August 2006

This edition of the journal, which runs to 196 pages, is exclusively devoted to healthcare delivery in Africa.

African Renaissance: July/August 2006 (special edition)
Healthcare Delivery in Africa:
Issues, Choices, Challenges and Opportunities
From the Editor/Publisher
Jideofor Adibe, PhD
In the May/June 2006 issue of the journal, we focused on the tensions in Africa’s Borderlands (Sudan, Mauritania, Chad and Mali) and posed a number of fundamental questions: What is the nature of the relations between peoples of Arab and African ancestries in Africa? Are the constant tensions in the Borderlands fundamentally a manifestation of conflicts between pan-Africanism and Pan-Arabism? Can peoples of African and Arab ancestries ever co-habit peacefully in one country?
In this issue we deviate from our usual practice of having a lead theme, and a number of unrelated articles and reviews, and exclusively explore the challenges and opportunities of health care delivery in Africa. Dr Chinua Akukwe, a leading authority on public health, HIV/AIDS, and development issues in Africa, is the guest editor for this special issue. He very ably solicited, edited and arranged the articles in this special edition. We are grateful for the enormous amount of work he put into this, and for the variety of perspectives he was able to bring together. We are convinced that the contributions have raised significant questions, and in many instances provided stimulating answers for policymakers and health practitioners in Africa to build on.
The contributors address various aspects of the challenges and opportunities of healthcare delivery in Africa. Chinua Akukwe, in an overview article, articulates reasons for a renewed focus on Africa’s healthcare delivery systems, arguing that this “special edition is the beginning of a long term, consistent review of Africa’s healthcare delivery challenges and opportunities.” Kenneth Simuyi

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, a practising medical doctor in Kenya and Aman Ali, a practising doctor in Cote d’Ivoire, assess the prospects of healthcare delivery in Africa by 2020, arguing that the “prospects in the continent by 2020 are not promising”. For them, “African leaders and peoples will require a significant change in direction in order to achieve an efficient and effective health care system by the year 2020.”
Bience Gawanas, Commissioner of Social Affairs at the Africa Union Commission whose portfolio includes health, discusses African Union’s responses to the health challenges in the continent and argues that the “Africa Union is committed to quality healthcare delivery strategies for the continent that promotes universal access to every African no matter the geographical location and station in life.”
Former Nigerian First Lady, Mrs Maryam Babangida, focuses on the experiences of the Better Life Program for the African Rural Woman (BLPARW) which she founded and chairs, noting that, the  “Better Life Program led to the creation of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and Social Welfare in Nigeria, the current Poverty Alleviation Program (PAP) and various other programs in the different states of Nigeria, which focus on alleviating the plight of, and providing the tools to create better life for women and children in rural areas.”  She calls for public-private partnership approach to support rural-based health care and development initiatives in Africa”
Alphonsus O. Obayuwana, Director of Graduate Medical Education in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Maryview Medical Center, Portsmouth,   and Ann L. Carter-Obayuwana, a licensed psychologist and counsellor examine the essential roles and responsibilities of Diaspora scientists and health care professionals in meeting Africa’s health care needs. They argue that the “…sons and daughters of Africa - especially those who live in relative comfort in Europe and in the Americas – must now face the inescapable fact that we (as descendants of Africa) cannot, any longer, individually or collectively, simply sit on the sidelines and wring our hands like helpless on-lookers while the health problems that plague the African continent and the African communities in the Diaspora continue to abound.”
Gilbert C Kombe

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View Comments
Date:Feb 08, 2013
Africa does not need help or leftovers from diaspora to improve anything. The only problem in Africa is that act of always begging for help. Africans have brains and common sense and that is all we need to develop. The selfish people we keep on voting into power and keep feeding with taxpayers' money must be held accountable.

Geriga F.
Date:May 18, 2010
healthcare a service or investement. politicising health care with litle investiment in it is the biggest challenge. security budgets out way health budget and yet history has clearly documented haelthy populations as the biggest resource for socio-econoic Developmet. we can not socio-economy with improving health care.in uganada healthcae funding has been declining yet we have the highest population growth rate. how do we expect to improve srvices with declining budgets

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