By Geoffrey Anyanwu, Enugu
Lack of quality health care, poverty and bad government policies have been identified as the reasons for the worsening health indices in rural communities in Africa.
A charity, Supportive Initiatives for Africa (SIA), which made the award, lamented the growing lack of access to quality health care for people in rural areas in Africa.
Therefore, the organization had initiated partnerships with governments which would include periodic visits by officials and experts of the Austria-based organization to hospitals, rural communities, education outreach in African countries. as well as the training of its medical experts, among others, to improve the health of the people.
Speaking to reporters yesterday in Enugu, the organization’s chairman, Mr. John Okaroh, who was flanked by the public officer, John Gregory, revealed that research carried out by the group indicated that residents of the areas rural areas in Africa suffer from communicable and non-communicable diseases and that the level of health and access and service to health care in Africa was below the global average.
Okaroh stressed that “the objective of this partnership is to improve access to essential health products and to minimize shortages in African communities within a few years”.
In addition, he said, “Africa lags behind in several health indicators, including health status, morbidity indicators, disability and nutritional indicators, as well as system indicators. health and health factors. That’s why SIA works with partners in health and healthcare to improve the lives of people in Africa.
“The main concern of the SIA is health. We also wish to draw the necessary attention and support to improving health, reducing poverty, social support, mental health services, support for people with disabilities, reducing infant and child mortality, prevention of communicable and non-communicable diseases, health financing, health systems and policy advice. “
Giving a disturbing clue to the research that necessitated the intervention, Okaroh said: “African children under five die every five seconds, mainly due to lack of basic health, water, and other needs. sanitation and hunger. Almost half of all child deaths in the world occur in Africa.
“Africa is the second most populous continent in the world with more than 1.3 billion inhabitants; Without access to essential medicines, Africans face the three major deadly diseases of malaria, tuberculosis and HIV / AIDS. 50 percent of all children under five who die from pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria and other communicable diseases are in Africa. 60 percent of all people living with HIV are in Africa. Over 90 percent of all malaria cases in the world are found in Africa. 19 of the 20 countries with the highest maternal mortality rates are in Africa.
“Africa has the highest number of neonatal deaths in the world. Only 58 percent of people living in sub-Saharan Africa have access to a safe drinking water supply. 60% of people in sub-Saharan Africa live on less than $ 1.90 per day. Over 150 million people live in extreme poverty in Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo alone. 27 of the world’s poorest countries are in sub-Saharan Africa. 70 percent of the world’s poorest people live in Africa. Less than two percent of drugs consumed in Africa are produced on the continent. This means that many sick patients do not have access to essential medicines.
The SIA boss therefore said that the collaboration and intervention would improve and promote the availability of health products among the different peoples of Africa, regardless of geographic locations.
“We want to improve access to screening tools in order to reduce mortality and morbidity caused by both CD and NCDs in Africa. Help create awareness and sensitize Africans on the quality use of health products and services through seminars, workshops, etc. adapted to specific local languages.