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Sarah Hanley
Hooper
3rd Block
17 March, 2016
Health Care in Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa, which has 11% of the world's people, suffers 24% of the burden of
disease, measured by the years lost to sickness and early death. But it absorbs less than 1% of the
planet's health-care spending. (Of Markets) Africa is in need of a much better health care
system. The continents population is quite large, yet they put a very small amount of money
towards healthcare. Diseases in Africa are growing out of control and the current health care
system is not doing anything about it; with pre-paid private health care this problem can be
permanently turned around and will allow people to live their lives in peace.
One of the most dangerous and prevalent diseases that Africa faces today is HIV/AIDS.
AIDS is the leading cause of death in Africa as well as a big obstacle in the development of the
continent. It is most common in young adults, but can also be passed on from mother to child.
Mother-to-child transmission of HIV is a big problem that can be treated before the baby is born
through short-term antiretroviral therapy. The treatment can cut the risk of a mother transmitting
the disease to her child by about fifty percent. AIDS is not the only health problem that Africa
faces, they also face many other diseases due to the fact that they are vulnerable. The incidence
of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases is higher on this continent than on any
other. (Annan) The reason that Africans are more vulnerable to things like diseases is because

Sarah Hanley

Monday, May 16, 2016 at 9:44:17 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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they are poor, undernourished, and uneducated about the diseases they could contract and how to
prevent them. With a good health care system many of these problems could improve drastically
and the leaders of Africa would be able to focus on improving the continent in other ways.
Currently, the health care system is not doing very much to help the sick and the poor.
At the top end, the rich generally went to one of two exclusive private hospitals, while the poor
majority had to put themselves at the mercy of an often dysfunctional state sector. (A Middle)
The rich and the poor are treated very differently when it comes to health care. The poor, who
often cant afford treatment, may end up losing their lives due to this unfair consideration. Half
of Africa's health expenditure is thought to come from out-of-pocket payments, known to healthcare pundits as OOPs, with the sick paying over the counter. (A Middle) Many times, when
people get sick, they have to pay out-of-pocket. Having to pay out-of-pocket is hard on many of
the people because they can barely afford to survive as it is. Losing so much money often causes
them to go bankrupt or worse; if they cant afford treatment they will go without help and the
diseases can take their lives. Luckily, there is a new idea for a health care system that could help
the poor and turn Africa around for the better.
Pre-paid private health care will help to fix many of the problems that Africa has been
struggling with for years. It has proven to be both plausible and effective. Insurers have spotted
an opening for no-frills but life-saving health care. (A Middle) With pre-paid private health
care, people would get the treatment they need and nothing more, but it would be affordable and
effective. They want to help countries set up partially subsidized but market-driven healthinsurance schemes. (Of Markets) They have tried to offer free basic health care in the past, but

Sarah Hanley

Monday, May 16, 2016 at 9:44:17 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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the economy was too poor to sustain it. Now they have figured out a way to provide free health
care. Although its not completely free of charge, they can give out basic things for free which
goes a long way. Indeed, the most basic medicines and procedures are often those that do most
good, as can be seen in the relatively low cost of successive anti-polio campaigns in relation to
the number of lives saved. (Ford) Shows that giving people free fundamental health care can go
a really long way in helping them to get their lives together. Having access to basic health care is
good for individual families as well as the continent. In Kenya, they are really starting to take
action. Kenya's proposed new social health insurance scheme is a bold and timely initiative. If it
succeeds in Kenya, it could become the model for the rest of the continent, says Anver
Versi. (Ford) This is very important because it means that if the system works in Kenya, the
entire continent may follow in their footsteps.
Health care has been an issue in Africa for a long time. It has been difficult for them to
improve as a continent when they constantly have to worry about poverty and disease. If pre-paid
private health care is successful, they will finally be able to get out of the hole they are in, and
focus on more important things. Disease is a big problem and the current health care system has
not been helping. Pre-paid private health care may signal the start of a new age in Africa, and
with it all of the perks that come along with a healthy nation.

Sarah Hanley

Monday, May 16, 2016 at 9:44:17 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Works Cited:
Annan, Kofi. "Facing It head-on. We Can. We Must. (From the Secretary-General)." UN
Chronicle Mar.-May 2001: 4+. Student Edition. Web. 8 Mar. 2016.
"A Middle Way? Private Health Care in Africa." The Economist 16 Nov. 2013: 54(US). Student
Edition. Web. 8 Mar. 2016.
Ford, Neil. "Who Should Pay for Health Care? The Kenyan Government's Decision to Offer Free
Basic Health Care and Medicines to Poor Citizens has Reawakened the Debate Over
How to Pay for Health Care in Africa. Analysis by Neil Ford." African Business
Dec. 2004: 32+. Student Edition. Web. 8 Mar. 2016. (Ford)
"Of Markets and Medicines; Health Care in Africa." The Economist 22 Dec. 2007: 121(US).
Student Edition. Web. 8 Mar. 2016.

Sarah Hanley

Monday, May 16, 2016 at 9:44:17 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Outline
I. Health Issues In Africa
A. Types of diseases
B. Statistics
II. Current Health Care
A. Explain what it is
B. Problems with it
III. How Pre-Paid Private Health Care Can Help
A. What it is
B. Facts and examples

Sarah Hanley

Monday, May 16, 2016 at 9:44:17 AM Eastern Daylight Time

34:36:3b:71:e8:36