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Business Asked to Help Improve African Healthcare Systems


At the World Economic Forum on Africa, there’s a call to improve the continent’s healthcare systems. Business is being asked to form a partnership with the public sector in a new report called: “Funding to Action – Strengthening Healthcare Systems in sub-Saharan Africa.

Francesca Boldrini is director of the World Economic Forum’s Global Health Initiative. From Cape Town, South Africa, where the forum is taking place, she spoke to VOA English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua about the status of Africa’s healthcare system.

“Unfortunately, the current state of healthcare systems in Africa is not strong. Sub-Saharan Africa is estimated to be the only region in the world not to meet any of the MDG (Millennium Development Goals) on health. And that’s primarily because of healthcare systems.” The report makes a number of recommendations. Boldrini says, “First of all, just put more attention on the systems. The good news is that four or five years ago there simply wasn’t enough funding and there weren’t the right technologies to do this kind of work in Africa. Much of that has happened now, but there’s not enough attention placed on the systems. So, for example, even the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria is currently undersubscribed in terms of applications for the improvement of healthcare systems. So that’s a first step…. What we are trying to do is stimulate new public/private partnerships that specifically target those areas.”

The recommendations do not simply call for more money from business, but such things as management expertise.