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African Governments, Private Sector Must Ensure Neediest Can Access Health Care

HuffPost: Growth In Private Health Care In Africa Is Leaving The Poorest Behind
Benedict Peters, CEO of Aiteo Group

“As more and more Africans can afford private health care and insurance, global health care providers are finally realizing the development opportunity of this emerging market. However, … the emphasis appears to be in catering to a growing commercial interest in a manner that may leave behind the most severely constrained — the poor. … [T]he private sector is more concerned with diseases that are non-communicable and associated with more affluent lifestyles, such as diabetes and heart conditions, than communicable diseases that blight poor and rural areas. The responsibility for fighting these diseases has fallen to governments and international aid organizations. … Across Africa, more must be done to grow and drive greater access to public health systems. Whilst the affluent few can afford to pay for their treatment, either in new private facilities or abroad, publicly funded facilities are essential to extend health care provision to the neediest. This is something that must be embraced and managed, but cannot be ignored” (5/1).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.