Health News→A report from the U.N. Economic Commission for Africa provides evidence that Africa is now healthier than two and half decades ago, with life expectancy on the rise and decline in Infant Mortality rate.
→ But troubling trends in health finance put these gains at risk. Africa has a health financing gap of at least $66 billion annually, with all but three African governments meeting the suggested 15 percent allocation of gross domestic product for health, as outlined by the 2001 Abuja Declaration.
→ Meanwhile, business opportunities in the health care and wellness sector in Africa are estimated to be worth $259 billion by 2030, with a potential to create 16 million jobs, according to UNECA.
→ At the Africa Business Health Forum in February, health care officials pointed to two examples of how partnerships can close the standing health financing gap and improve access to health services.
In Botswana, public hospitals are utilizing the intensive care units of private hospitals to increase access to quality care for emergency and specialized services. District hospitals also outsource “soft services,” such as clinical waste removal, catering, and laundry to local companies. “There are still more opportunities available for public-private cooperation: inpatient and outpatient care, mortuary services, pharmaceutical manufacturing, or human resources development,” Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi explained. “This gives just a broad overview of the immense opportunities available in just one country.”
In Kenya, M-TIBA — a mobile health wallet created in partnership with Safaricom, CarePay, and PharmAccess — allows Kenyans to save, send, and spend money on health care. Money stored on the app can only be used to pay for treatment and medication at its partner clinics and hospitals, which are internationally recognized for quality care. The government’s Management Equipment Service project has also helped expand access to dialysis medical equipment, which is outsourced from private providers. In rural areas, telehealth clinics allow patients to interact with medical specialists through video conference.
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