State of healthcare infrastructure in Africa appalling, says AfDB president

Sami Tunji

The President of the African Development Bank Group, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has decried the state of healthcare infrastructure in Africa, saying the continent loses $1bn annually to medical tourism.

Adesina said this while giving his opening remarks at the Knowledge Event 2 of the bank’s 2021 Annual Meeting, a three-day virtual event that began on Wednesday. The theme of Friday’s event was ‘Building Africa’s healthcare defence system.’

According to him, the state of healthcare in Africa is disturbing as many Africans do not have access to quality healthcare. He added that more than 200 per cent of people die after surgery.

The AfDB president said, “The situation with African healthcare is extremely troubling. Access to healthcare on the continent is extremely poor, much less quality healthcare, a luxury enjoyed in developed countries. If you are sick in Africa, you need prayers, a lot of prayers. Health facilities, when they exist, are several kilometres away for many Africans.

“Only 51 per cent of the public health facilities have basic water and sanitation and electricity is available only in 33 per cent of the healthcare facilities. The state of healthcare infrastructure in Africa is appalling. Just think of the numbers: Africa has 21 per cent of the hospital bed density per 1,000 people, compared to Europe.

“Diagnostic infrastructure in Africa is poor. The magnetic resonance imaging available per 1,000 people in Africa being 46 per cent of that in India, and only two per cent of what is available in the United States of Africa. Africa has 200 per cent more deaths after surgery than the global average.”

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