African Health: It’s Not All About AIDS

The damage done by HIV/AIDS in Africa cannot be downplayed. However, while communicable diseases often get headlines, more "mundane" health issues don't capture public interest or pocketbooks, according Michael Moran of Slate:

But by ignoring far greater, non-communicable problems...we doom Africans to low life expectancies and fail to create the impetus for reform and behavioral changes that could be transformational.

“When most people in developed countries think of the biggest health challenges confronting the developing world, they envision a small boy in a rural, dusty village beset by an exotic parasite or bacterial blight. But increasingly, that image is wrong. Instead, it is the working-age woman living in an urban slum, suffering from diabetes, cervical cancer, or stroke – non-communicable diseases (NCDs) that once confronted wealthy nations alone,” Bollyky writes.

Moran goes on to state that it is clear that deeply-entrenched health problems and the poorly organized systems used to treat them in Africa can no longer rely "on a drip feed of pennies collected in UNICIF milk cartons" and foreign aid, long relied upon, has dried up in many cases due to the global economic downturn. Africa now must learn to rely on itself to develop solutions to the continent's health issues.

Read the entire article here.




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