Challenges facing the healthcare industry in Africa

Challenges facing the healthcare industry in Africa
Published: 17 July 2017
Access to basic healthcare services and products remains a challenge throughout significant portions of the world. When many people think of a lack of healthcare and/or the consequences that follow it, many think about the African continent's struggles with a variety of health-related issues. While evolutions in technology have helped make dramatic improvements in many areas, there are still a number of challenges that make fully addressing the health concerns of the entire continent difficult. Today, we'll review some of the biggest roadblocks preventing a major healthcare revolution in Africa and how each one of them is being eroded slowly but surely.

A Lack of Healthcare Workers
One major hurdle in the fight for better healthcare in Africa is a simple shortage of qualified hands. The number of people with degrees, such as a standard or online masters in health administration and nursing, significantly lags behind other continents, resulting in healthcare throughout the continent being rationed. Ultimately, educational opportunities throughout the continent continue to grow and are helping to alleviate this problem, but a notable lack of healthcare supply - coupled with some less-than-modern individual and public beliefs on select health-related issues - makes it difficult to close the gap in a short period of time. However, online colleges and universities with a healthcare focus are increasingly being used as one option for low-income and rural people to obtain new career qualifications from their homes.

Infrastructure Struggles
Another major problem that is preventing the effective distribution of healthcare across the continent relates to simple infrastructure. By far the second largest continent in the world in terms of both land mass and population, an underdeveloped series of utility lines, major roadways and other forms of infrastructure makes it difficult for remote populations to access modern healthcare. With roads that become inaccessible during certain periods of the year and the vast distances in many cases between major cities, healthcare is hardly sustainable in many areas of the continent. This is why such a large focus has been on driving healthcare development in local and community settings.
Pre-Existing Crises and Public Response
Finally, a huge part of the struggle affecting millions of Africans is the pre-existing conditions that affect health. With diseases such as HIV affecting tens of millions across the continent, life spans are significantly shortened. While many treatments for common illnesses have been delivered, formulated and distributed throughout the continent, major illnesses such as HIV continue to devastate all aspects of life, including longevity, reproduction rates, and economic output.

Additionally, the public sector's response is less than uniform on addressing such challenges. While some African nations and leaders have risen to the challenge, there are other nations where, for example, basic doubts about the fact that HIV even exists has been government policy. Combined with some nations' propensities for corruption to divvy up charitable resources designed to improve healthcare, and you have a recipe for a stagnation of the situation.

While great progress has been made in improving life expectancy and transmission of select illnesses, Africa as a whole still has a variety of healthcare obstacles to overcome. Ultimately, more people pursuing traditional and online MHA degrees, a re-dedication to improving basic infrastructure, and more educated public policy initiatives can help to narrow the gap and reduce the severity of this major problem.

- Agencies
Tags: Africa,


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