In Africa the state of the health systems has an enormous number of challenges to cope with. According to The CIA World Factbook (Central Intelligence Agency 2016) the number of hospital beds is on average far lower than in other regions of the world. While Monaco leads the ranking with 16.5 beds per thousand inhabitants, African countries can be found at the end. Ghana has only 0.9 beds per thousand inhabitants, the situation in Nigeria or Niger e.g. is far worth with 0.53 respectively 0.31 beds per thousand inhabitants. Especially in rural areas drugs and diagnostic equipment are often missing or their quantity and quality are insufficient (Petersen und Reis 2013).
Between 2000 and 2013 life expectancy in Africa increased from 50 to 58 years. This plus an estimated doubling of the population until 2050 substantiate the need for improvements and an expansion of health services. At the same time the African middle class is continuously growing. Experts forecast their number to rise from 313 million in 2010 to 1,100 million in 2016. In their role as consumers of medical services they demand a good and reliable health care system (Petersen und Reis 2013).
This panel discusses the past and current state of selected health systems in Africa and possible solutions to the observed shortcomings such as Public Private Partnerships (PPPs). The speaker will put an emphasis on Sub-Saharan Africa, especially Ghana.
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