The Mo Ibrahim Prize for African Leadership hasn’t been given out since 2008, but the Mo Ibrahim Foundation has launched the Ibrahim Index as a measure for African countries and their progress. This is an interesting and important development as a number of the indicators for the index focus on health. Check out other interesting news from across the continent. Check it out for yourself!
“Water is more valuable than oil, more precious than gold,” said Amy LoPresti, co-founder of Africa Water is Life. “It is the essential ingredient of our life, our culture, our history, and our future. Yet, 1.2 billion people in the world do not have access to clean, consumable water.” Unsafe water and a lack of basic sanitation cause an estimated 80 percent of all diseases in the developing world and together kill more people than all forms of violence, including war.
This is a story that really invokes our organization’s name. High rates of chronic malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies of Vitamin A and iron among women and children remain Uganda’s most common malnutrition problems. However, an edible banana could solve this problem.
Africa Water News highlights a CNN article that suggests we are close to eradicating the disease. Once called the “forgotten disease for a forgotten people” the Carter Center believes that every country in Africa except Sudan will be rid of the disease.
The ANC’s National Health Insurance scheme has yet again opened up the deep economic divisions in South Africa. The economic divisions are best represented by access and quality of health care. Doctors are very difficult to find in poor, crowded townships and settlements, but major towns with many wealth have centers for plastic surgery. 60% of funds for health services are directed at the 15% of the population which is covered by private health insurance. Only 40% of the funds are used to pay for the public sector that serves 85% of the population.
Over the next five years and in partnership with the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the department is awarding grants to African institutions in a dozen countries under its Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI), which works with U.S. medical schools and universities to form a network that includes about 30 regional partners, country health and education ministries, and more than 20 U.S. collaborators.
This article is being featured because of the subject matter. Voice of America (VOA) has a habit of generalizing, especially in Africa and about African people. I suggest reading the interview transcript on how traditional beliefs guide health practices in Ghana, something that I studied during a 6 week study abroad covering disparities in health care. The US health care system could learn a thing or two from the Ghanaian health system.
With a vaccine and drugs available to treat tuberculosis (TB), you would think that it should no longer be a problem. 1.3 million people worldwide died from TB in 2008, according to the World Health Organization most lived in Africa and Southeast Asia. Is this becoming another “forgotten disease for a forgotten people?”