Health Care Challenges in Africa: Is Millennium Development Goal 8 an Adequate Panacea?
Posted: 20 Aug 2011 Last revised: 16 Mar 2015
Date Written: August 20, 2011
To be productive, discourses on health care challenges in Africa must evolve from at least two basic premises. First, at the core of the precipitous decline in key health indicators in the region is lack of access to health care – the result of spiraling and crippling poverty amongst the general population. Second, a plurality of governments in the region is either unwilling or unable to come to the aid of the people within their respective jurisdictions. These unmet challenges ground the need for international intervention, an instance of which is the compact establishing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). One of them – MDG 8 – which explicitly requires international cooperation, recognizes that without assistance poor countries would not be able to attain the various benchmarks set in the MDGs. But although MDG 8 could have transformative impact on health care in Africa, given its potential to supply the missing link in the struggle toward health for all in the region (resources), there are structural and operational difficulties that could undermine this possibility. This paper critically analyzes the difficulties and offers suggestions on how to surmount them.
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