Africa's Health Problems


August 10, 2013  |  By Wasiya Mutawakilu, Ghana

Africa's Health Problems

Photo : Wikimedia Commons

Health can be referred to as the condition of the body, especially concerning illness and disease. Therefore health problems in Sub-Saharan Africa relate to physical, mental and social instability.

Malaria is the one of the leading causes of death in the developing world. The World Health Organisation (WHO) states that 3.3 billion people live in areas where malaria is high risk. The HIV/AIDS epidemic across Sub-Saharan Africa kills over one million people every year.

WHO says that regardless of promises of better health care by governments and donor agencies, millions of people are still dying unnecessarily. People are also suffering from health hazards that could be avoided with the appropriate treatment and medication.

In April 2012, participants at Forum 2012 heard impassioned calls for African researchers to work towards solving some of Africa’s biggest health problems. While poverty is undoubtedly a crucial factor as to why African health problems are so severe Sub-Saharan, I think government corruption also plays a big part. There is an unequal distribution of food and medicine when it comes to aid in many of the continents poorest countries.  It is unbelievable that governments are so willing to steal from their own people and to watch them suffer.

Furthermore, I think since health in Africa is a very crucial issue, there must be a group of trained and ready to help health personals in each and every country that is suffering from the most severe health problems and where the people have the least access to treatment.

Hunger also plays a big part in regards to health. There is a saying that goes, “A sound mind can only work in a healthy body.” Without proper food and vitamins, people struggle to keep healthy thus making it difficult to work as the body can’t manage to keep going without its fuel. Of course when people can’t work this leads to poverty, and then health issues relating to poverty.

Access to clean and safe drinking water is also a threat to Africans. I say this because as Africans, we make use of water from sources such a rivers, lakes, stream, ponds and many others which have to first be treated and freed from dirt and parasites before it can be used. Drinking dirty water causes diarrhea, one of the leading causes of death among children.

In addition, HIV/AIDS has also been one of the deadly diseases in Sub-Saharan Africa. Individuals who engage themselves in illicit and unprotected sex with someone who is HIV positive had a high risk of contracted the disease. Lack of access to condoms and unawareness of contraception means HIV spreads quickly.

It is hard to believe that In March 2011, Sub-Saharan Africa only had 2-3 health care workers per a thousand people. This is terrible. Something needs to be done to protect the future of Africa’s children, the future leaders of Africa.

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Ayisha Ismila and Mary Obo

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This story was very interesting and well written.

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